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Slump Sends Yankees’ Jesus Montero Back To Minors

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Jesus Montero (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Jesus Montero (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Score a -2 for the Yankees’ youth movement.

Prospects Jesus Montero and Austin Romine lost out in their attempts to serve as backup to catcher Russell Martin on Monday.

The 21-year old Montero, along with infielder Ramiro Pena and outfielder Justin Maxwell were optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Romine, 22, was optioned to Double-A Trenton.

“We felt they have to play every day to improve and develop,” Joe Girardi said. “They would be playing every six or seven days and that’s not in the best interest of their careers.”

Montero underwhelmed Yankees’ brass with the bat — and behind the plate — after a red-hot start.

“I think Montero is a much better player than what he showed, offensively,” Girardi said. “I told him, ‘When you do come up one day, try to learn from this experience.’ It’s easy to say and it’s hard to do, not to press.”

Gustavo Molina, who has played in 23 major-league games, will be the backup catcher unless the Yankees make a late addition from outside the organization.

“I have to keep working hard on the little things that I have to work on, keep doing well and try to do my best,” said Montero after learning of his demotion. “I’ll wait for the opportunity to be in the big leagues and show them I can play there.”

Romine, now also an official also-ran, said, “I accomplished what I wanted to do when I came here this spring.”

“I wanted to make it as tough a decision as I possibly could,” Romine added. “They said, ‘As of right now, you can catch in the big leagues. It’s a phone call away, so go down there and get ready.’”

Molina may not inspire confidence in many. Even so, Girardi says Yankees fans shouldn’t expect to see Jorge Posada behind the dish.

“Right now he’s our DH,” Girardi said, “and we’re going to leave it that way.”

Can the 1-2 punch of Martin and Molina get the job done? Let us know in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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