May 19, 2010

Girardi: Posada out 3 to 4 weeks; Montero, Romine, Moeller are replacement options

Just when I was about to post why Francisco Cervelli should be the full-time catcher, news breaks that Jorge Posada has a hairline fracture in his right foot and will miss three to four weeks, Joe Girardi said.

Posada suffered the injury when a foul ball hit him on the top of the foot on Sunday night. Still, he says it’s the bottom of the foot that’s bugging him.

The Yankees certainly will call up a catcher tomorrow, but the question is who. The organization is filled with catching prospects, most notably Jesus Montero (AAA) and Austin Romine (AA), but also have 35-year-old veteran Chad Moeller sitting in Triple-A.

In the postgame press conference, Girardi didn’t shoot down the idea of bringing up Montero or Romine, which came as a big surprise to me since they’re both so young. I’m inferring this means all three will be considered for the spot. Here’s my breakdown:

Montero: He’s just 20 years old, but tore up Single- and Double-A last year at 19. This year with Scranton his bat is only starting to come around, but his defense is still lagging way behind his bat, which some scouts call the best in the minors. I’d rather wait to call up Montero, but I wouldn’t be furious if he got the call. He’ll only be a backup and perhaps pinch-hit duties for a few weeks.

Romine: The 21-year-old has a much better glove than Montero and is hitting great in Double-A. As a prospect, he isn’t on the same level as Montero, but there’s always a chance the scouts overlooked him. After all, look at Cervelli! He was called up from Double-A last year and is hitting .400 now. Once again, he’d only be a backup for a few weeks so I wouldn’t mind him getting the call.

Moeller: He can’t hit in the majors. He can’t even hit in Triple-A, but he has 1,524 major league plate appearances, which is exactly 1,524 more than Romine and Montero have combined. He plays solid defense and that’s what all teams ask for in a backup. After allowing six steals in one night, I’m ready for a defensive catcher to step in behind the dish. He’s the guy I’d call.

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