Catch as catch can for Yanks rookies

Yankees fans will get plenty of opportunities to see the franchise’s top catching prospects the remainder of the regular season. Jesus Montero and Austin Romine will get plenty of playing time because of injuries to the team’s other catchers.

While it was good news in New York that an MRI on Francisco Cervelli was negative, he still has a concussion, his third in three years, a malady that is treated far more seriously in baseball than it used to be. Montero and Romine will be needed in Cervelli’s backup role to the regular catcher, Russell Martin, who is also hurting with two bruised thumbs.

Romine made his first major-league start Monday night at Seattle. He is considered the better of the two rookies defensively. Montero has opened eyes with his hitting (.308, 3 home runs, 6 RBI in 26 at-bats) and is a post-season candidate as a designated hitter against left-handed pitching. Montero made his first major-league start Sunday at Anaheim and was replaced behind the plate in the seventh by Romine. It was the first time in Yankees history that two players each made his first career appearance at catcher in the same game and the first for any team since the Red Sox’ Gary Allenson and Mike O’Berry did it April 8, 1979 at Cleveland.

Nick Swisher, nursing an ailing left elbow, was back in the lineup at first base as Mark Teixeira assumed DH duties. Chris Dickerson was in Swisher’s normal spot in right field and helped the Yankees manufacture a run off Felix Hernandez in the second inning. Dickerson singled to right to send Brett Gardner, who led off with a single, to third base from where he scored on an infield out by Derek Jeter.

Crowds at Safeco Field who love to torment Alex Rodriguez for his leaving town to sign with the Rangers as a free agent after the 2000 season won’t get that chance this trip. Still bothered by a nagging left thumb injury, A-Rod is unlikely to play in this series and is hopeful to get back in the lineup by the time the Yankees move on to Toronto.

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