Montero, Romine catch Yankees’ win

One day after Jorge Posada caught his first game of the season
in an emergency situation, two New York Yankees catchers made their
first major league appearances behind home plate on Sunday.

Jesus Montero started New York’s 6-5 win over the Los Angeles
Angels. The 21-year-old Montero made his big league debut on Sept.
1 and played his first seven games as a designated hitter.

He was replaced in the seventh inning by 22-year-old Austin
Romine, who had never before played in the majors.

”I’ve been going nonstop since I woke up at 4:30 this morning.
I started packing what I hadn’t unpacked,” said Romine, whose
brother Andrew is a reserve infielder with the Angels. ”We had a
lot of family here – I’d say about 22 people.

”I’m really happy for my family to see my brother and I play
big league ball. I grew up 10 minutes from here, so it’s a great
moment. Andrew’s not a man of many words. He just patted me on the
back and said, ‘Good job.”’

Romine’s contract was selected from Triple-A
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre club. He was in Kentucky when he received
word, and he made it to the ballpark about an hour before the first
pitch, which was delayed because of a ceremony commemorating the
10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

”It was kind of a shock to hear about this, but it couldn’t
have worked out any better for him,” Andrew Romine said. ”My
parents are from here and they’re 15 minutes down the street. They
got to see him play and I got to see him play, too, so it worked
out perfectly. But it wasn’t last-minute news, he just got in at
the last minute.”

Andrew apparently found out about his brother’s impending
promotion even before he did.

”I was sitting at my locker yesterday before we went out to
B.P., so it was probably about 3 o’clock or so,” Andrew said.
”Then one of the clubbies came up to me and said: ‘Joe wants to
talk to you.’ And I’m like, ‘Joe? Who’s Joe?’ So I walked out the
door and we go outside and he tells me ‘Joe Girardi’s
waiting.”’

Girardi asked him if he had talked to his brother lately because
the team was trying to get a hold of him.

”So I kind of had the inkling that it was going to happen,”
Andrew said. ”But nobody could say anything. So I came back in and
I sent him a text, but obviously, I guess they got a got a hold of
him.”

Kevin and June Romine attended the game with their daughter,
Rebecca. They watched Austin catch a combined total of 45 pitches
over three innings from Rafael Soriano, David Robertson and closer
Mariano Rivera.

Girardi has said he was reluctant to put Montero behind the
plate because he hadn’t caught big league pitchers since spring
training. He spent most of the morning getting a crash course on
Yankees starter Freddy Garcia.

Perhaps it was a distraction. He struck out all three times he
batted – two days after homering against Angels ace Jered
Weaver.

”It’s one thing to go up there and hit; it’s another thing to
be back there and be involved in every pitch,” Girardi said. ”The
one thing you want to do is go up there and slow things down as
much as you can. He’s been going down to the bullpen every day,
especially on days when he doesn’t play, and he caught Freddy in
his rehab start. And he caught him a few times in spring
training.”

”It was not my master plan, but it’s been because of necessity
and the injuries that we’ve had,” Girardi added. ”All of a
sudden, we’re getting real dinged up again.”

Francisco Cervelli has been sidelined by concussion-like
symptoms since a home plate collision with Baltimore’s Nick
Markakis on Thursday, and Russell Martin left Saturday night’s game
because of a bruised right thumb sustained on a third-inning foul
tip.

”Russell is probably day to day, but I don’t know if we’ll have
him on Monday,” Girardi said. ”My hope is that we’ll have him
Tuesday. We’ll have to wait and see. But Montero’s going to catch
and Romine’s going to catch, depending on how long Russell is out.
Jorgie, I can use in case of an emergency, like last night.”