TAMPA, Fla. -- The more you listen to Joe Girardi talk about Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli, the more you feel like he may be talking a little bit about himself. He knows the combo -- whom we are calling Stewvelli -- will not match Russell Martin's 21 homers, but they could be just as good as Martin defensively.
They can save runs with their minds and their gloves, something that the manager tried to do as a player.
"A lot of times, you can look at a catcher and say, here is a guy who hit 20 home runs and drove in 60 runs or he drove in 80 runs, but it is hard to quantify how many runs a catcher can save. We have two catchers that can do a lot of that. The two catchers that we take will do a lot of that for us. That's not going to go in a statistic or on a baseball card or his numbers on the board, when you are hitting .270. They are not going to put that he saved 16 runs. Those are RBIs in my mind."
The bet here is that the Yankees have Stewart and Cervelli share the catching spot. On Opening Day with CC Sabathia on the mound, it will likely be Stewart, who caught 18 of Sabathia's 29 regular season starts in '13. Then they will divvy up the rest of the starters with one guy getting three and the other receiving two.
The wild card is Austin Romine. Romine's back limited him to 31 minor league games in 2012, but he has lost 13 pounds and is down to 215 pounds. He said his back injuries are behind him.
"That’s not going to happen," Romine said. "I think, all the work I put in in the gym, I don’t think it’s going to pop up. I’m not going to let it. If I do my work, it’s not going to be a problem."
At some point during the season, Romine could be the answer. For now, though, Girardi is looking at Stewvelli and sees a little of himself staring back.
QUESTION: DO YOU BUY THAT STEWVELLI CAN BE AS GOOD AS MARTIN?