Saturday, April 27, 2013

Yankees' Cervelli breaks hand, team calls up Romine in middle of game

It didn't take long for the New York Yankees to fill in Francisco Cervelli's spot on the roster — after the catcher fractured his right hand in the first inning of Friday night's 6-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays — even if his replacement wasn't even anywhere near Yankee Stadium.

Austin Romine, a catcher once considered the top prospect in the Yankees organization — was pulled in the middle of an inning during Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's game to join the team today.

While it is unusual for the Yankees to pull a player from a game and give him a one-way bus ticket to New York, the burgeoning list of walking wounded in the Bronx has given the team no choice but to give Romine his first real shot.

Cervelli will undergo surgery Saturday — after taking a foul ball off the bat of Rajai Davis while behind the plate last night — and it curtails what has been a superb season for the backstop. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Romine was hitting .341 (14-41) with an OPS of .815 out in Pennsylvania although he didn't get his first extra base hit until Thursday.

His lack of power at the plate wasn’t a concern to Romine's minor league manager Dave Miley.

“He’s been having solid at-bats and doing well behind the plate,” Miley said by phone. “It’s just a matter of time before the extra-base hits come.”

Romine played nine games with the Yankees in 2011 but was sidelined much of last season with a back injury.

“He’s got a lot of talent,” Stewart said. “It’s just a matter of getting experience up here and getting a feel for our guys again. I don’t think it’s going to take long.”

The former second-round pick was limited to 31 minor league games a year ago, which hindered his progress. And while he was once considered the organization’s catcher of the future, some feel he has been surpassed by Gary Sanchez.

Cervelli has been one reason the Yankees have been managing to win this season and now suddenly, his shoes look a lot bigger to fill.

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