NEW YORK (WFAN) — Austin Romine knows his path to a starting job is blocked by perhaps the most promising young player to come through the Yankees organization in a decade. So for now, he’s just focusing on doing whatever he can to help the Bombers win.
“You look back at what (Gary) Sanchez did (last season), I think it was amazing to see it and to watch,” Romine, the Yankees’ backup catcher, told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Wednesday. “But what’s a little different this year is you just got to know your role and know your job and know what you can do to help the team win games. That’s all we’re about is winning games. So it’s nice to have a defined role.
“Anybody that tells you they’re fine with being a backup is going to be lying. You know everybody wants to start, but you’ve got to take what you get and take the opportunities that you do get and try and succeed.”
Romine, of course, knows the Yankees’ pitchers extremely well. Here’s what he had to say about some of them:
On Luis Severino: “We all know (he) has the stuff and has an electric arm, and he showed he can get guys out coming out of the pen. He’s trying to get some things ironed out location-wise now in spring, but when you look at him throwing on the mound, and I know when I’m catching him, it’s electric stuff. So if he can get it all together, the sky’s the limit for that guy.”
On CC Sabathia: “CC’s a competitor. He’s a grinder. He’s a guy everybody gets behind. If you’re going to war, you want to be going with CC. He gives you everything he’s got every time he goes out on the mound. And he was able to get that cutter going last year, and I think that was a big pitch for him that opened up a lot. This guy can spot. He can throw slider, front and back door.”
On Aroldis Chapman: “It’s the most challenging guy I’ve ever caught, just based on reaction time alone. When you’re talking 100 miles an hour, you can work around the zone if you’re ready and in a good position. When you get up to 104, 105, your reaction time is cut down so much, and in baseball we’re not used to seeing that kind of speed. … Sometimes I go into hockey goalie mode, just trying to knock it down, I guess. Just get something in front of it.”
On Dellin Betances: “You’ve got guys looking for the pitch he’s going to throw, and they still can’t hit it. So that speaks volumes for how much the pitch is moving. And he throws 100 miles an hour, so a very, very tough at-bat, and it’s fun to catch sometimes.”
On Masahiro Tanaka: “You can see it from the numbers. His spring training numbers (0.00 ERA over 18 2/3 innings) are what they are, but he’s pitching really well. It’s what you want to see out of your guy, and I think he’s a tremendous competitor. He’s working both sides of the plate, almost unhittable. He’s got the slider going. He’s got four pitches, five pitches that he can command. So it’s fun to watch.”
To listen to the interview, click on the audio player above.