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For the first time in a long time, New York doesn’t have a clear-cut starter behind the plate.
Since Jorge Posada earned a starting role, followed by Russell Martin the New York Yankees haven’t had to worry about who their everyday catcher was going to be.
The competition for the starting job will most likely be one of top stories for the Yankees this spring.
But manager Joe Girardi should not let this process carry out too long. The relationship between a catcher and pitching staff is a vital part of success, and that relationship cannot be built if New York rotates three catchers throughout the spring.
Another reason why Girardi needs to pick his catcher early is to build confidence, especially if it’s a younger player. Gaining confidence through more playing time and practice added to knowledge of being the starter goes a long way in the mind of a player.
Of the three front-runners for the job—Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine and Chris Stewart—none seem to have a clear edge.
Regardless of who is chosen to be the every day backstop, the decision needs to be made before the Yankees start getting into serious spring training games.
If indecision is the storyline of the spring in the competition for catcher, the effects can ripple into the season.