Sweeny Murti of WFAN reports the Yankees have designated catcher Austin Romine for assignment. This means that John Ryan Murphy will serve as Brian McCann’s backup this season.
A former top-100 prospect, the 26-year-old Romine struggled in Triple-A last season and batted just .182 (6-for-33) with one double and a .441 OPS over 18 games during Grapefruit League action. He entered this spring out of options, so the Yankees couldn’t send him to Triple-A without exposing him to waivers.
Murphy was No. 3 on the depth chart last season, but he was the favorite to backup McCann after Francisco Cervelli was traded to the Pirates over the winter. The 23-year-old batted .280/.318/.370 across 85 plate appearances with the Bombers in 2014.
Last night after ending his Yankee Stadium career with a walk-off single Derek Jeter said he wouldn’t be playing shortstop again, but indicated that he would play in some capacity during the Yankees’ season-ending series in Boston.
For tonight at least he’s not in the starting lineup at all, as the Yankees have Brendan Ryan at shortstop. Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, and Brett Gardner are also sitting, so it’s a lineup devoid of regulars.
2B – Jose Pirela
CF – Eury Perez
1B – Francisco Cervelli
LF – Chris Young
C – John Ryan Murphy
DH – Austin Romine
SS – Brendan Ryan
3B – Zelous Wheeler
RF – Antoan Richardson
Yankees manager Joe Girardi indicated that Jeter asked for the night off, so presumably pinch-hitting or even pinch-running is unlikely.
UPDATE: Per Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal, Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed this morning that Teixeira will go on the disabled list. Austin Romine will replace him on the active roster.
10:53 a.m. ET: Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was forced to exit last night’s game against the Blue Jays due to a strained right hamstring and it sounds like a stint on the disabled list is in his future.
Teixeira suffered the injury while chasing after a foul ball in the second inning. According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, he will undergo an MRI when the team returns to New York on Monday, but it doesn’t look promising.
“We’ll see how it feels in the morning, but I’m not super optimistic about it,” he said.
“I definitely don’t want to go on the DL. I’m really hoping that tomorrow morning, I wake up, we go through some stuff with the doctors and it feels good. But we’ll see.”
Teixiera was limited to just 15 games last season due to a torn tendon sheath in his right wrist that required surgery. The Yankees have little in the way of depth behind him and will likely be forced to go with Kelly Johnson at first base and Yangervis Solarte at the hot corner during his absence. And that’s not ideal.