Yankees

Romine Expected To Begin ’13 At Triple-A; Cervelli, Stewart To Compete At Camp

Austin Romine (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

Austin Romine (Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - So who will be starting behind the plate for the Bronx Bombers when they open up the 2013 season at Yankee Stadium against the hated Red Sox?

Well that remains to be seen, but don’t expect catching prospect Austin Romine to be part of the Opening Day battery with starting pitcher CC Sabathia.

The 24-year-old is expected to start the season in the minor leagues.

“I expect Romine to go to Triple-A,” Cashman told the New York Daily News. “He missed all of last year, almost … I don’t expect him to be our everyday catcher out of the gate. He always has the possibility of taking it, but realistically, if I were in prediction mode, I’d say Triple-A.  But he has a chance to alter that.”

If the Yankees don’t trade for or sign a catcher in the coming months — which they’re not expected to do — Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart will compete for the starting job in spring training.

Cervelli had just one at-bat for New York last season, though he appeared in at least 40 games for the Yanks from 2009 to 2011. Stewart, meanwhile, hit .241 with one homer in 141 at-bats for New York in 2012.

The defending American League East champions have a void at the position after Russell Martin signed a two-year, $17 million contract with the Pirates earlier this offseason. Martin provided pop out of the bottom portion of the lineup last season — belting 21 home runs — but he batted just .211.

Romine, a second-round draft pick of the Yankees in 2007, had a brief stint in the majors in 2011 as a September call-up. In nine game played, he went 3-for-19 at the plate with two runs scored and a walk.

The California native played just 31 games in the minors last season because of a back injury. He batted .243 with four home runs and 15 RBIs, posting a .741 OPS.

Who should be the Yankees’ starting catcher in 2013? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below…