Pinstripe Preview: Austin Romine

The 2017 MLB season will be the sixth in the career of Austin Romine. The Yankee backup catcher from last season entered spring training this season with an inside track on the job that he filled adequately last year but with some young guns performing well within the Yankees’ minor league system, it may not be long before we question how secure his spot on this team is.
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac 

2016 Review
With the presence of Brian McCann and eventually Gary Sanchez on the 2016 roster, Romine was nothing more than a pure backup last season. In the 62 games he appeared in he registered 176 plate appearances and batted .242 with four home runs and 26 RBI. He appeared in 50 games behind the plate allowing only two passed balls and committing only one error. Romine has always been a solid defender and while he doesn’t offer much with the bat what he offers would be more than sufficient should the Yankees elect to keep him around as the backup for this upcoming season.

2017 Preview
With Gary Sanchez firmly seizing hold of the starting job, if Romine returns to the team this season it will yet again be in the backup catcher’s role. The Yankees would be more than satisfied with a repeat of the offensive and defensive numbers that Romine produced last season but the team may also be seeking to upgrade the position. Kyle Higashioka batted .276 with 21 home runs and 80 RBIs across the Double and Triple-A levels last season and has gotten off to a hot start this spring. At this point he would definitely offer more at the plate than Romine would and the team may very well find that appealing even with the limited at bats the backup will get. The team has many prospects on the rise these days and that may cause some tough 40-man roster decisions sometime soon but until those decisions get made, it would not be surprising to see Romine back on the bench and behind the plate for the 2017 Yankee Squad.

Article by: Matt Graziano

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