This was a strange off season. Like many, I was sitting back and waiting for the big splash because that is just what the Yankees do. I think we are so used to watching the Yankees open up their wallet and spend money so when they didn’t we were left sitting in anticipation and telling ourselves that it was going to happen and soon. Did the Yankees finally learn a valuable lesson? Is this the start of a new approach? For the first time, the Youth movement is finally here and the Yankees will have some decisions to make.
What to do about Romine? It’s a tough call. Years ago he was thought to be the next big internal catching superstar. Injuries have really held him back and have produced more questions than answers. This year he has shown up to camp in the best shape of his life and determined to change the Yankees minds on giving him the backup catcher role instead of John Ryan Murphy.
I like the determination, and as high as I have been on Murphy I really can’t help but feel a little torn here. Murphy is said to be the favorite, but will the Yankees pull the strategic move instead? Romine is out of options, so he can’t be stashed away in the minors without going through waivers. Someone would pick him up and take a chance because catchers are hard to come by. So the Yankees either need to give him a chance or trade him if they are smart. The problem with trading him….the Yankees won’t get much for him. In the Yankees mind, naming Romine as the backup catcher wouldn’t mean choosing him over Murphy….it would simply mean choosing to keep Romine in their back pocket.
Refsnyder may not be the Yankee’s opening day starter, but he will make an impact on this team this season. In the background I was quietly cheering for Refsnyder because I am ready for the youth moment.
I guess I will have to exercise patience and know that the Yankees have a great internal backup if the Yankees have to shift things around if Stephen Drew has to move from second base to shortstop. For once, it’s not about scrambling to find a piece on the open market for a quick band-aid fix. Refsnyder has shown us during spring training that he can find a way to get on base whether it is by using his bat or taking a walk.
We are huge followers of Hensley and his amazing family. We have been truly blessed to form such a good friendship with the Hensley’s and get to know them. Hensley has a lot of potential, and that has been something we have all come to realize. One of the most impressive details about Hensley is his work ethic and his sheer determination to succeed. This past December Hensley was attacked and hospitalized. It is easy to focus on the tragedy and his injuries, but the part that impressed me most is his sheer determination to get up and not dread on the event and get back to the grind. Just 15 days after his attack he was back at it and throwing again. He was also quick to talk about how excited he was for 2015. That is the grit and determination we need on this team and we can’t wait to see what this season has in store for him, too.
Maybe the fear of this being his last chance as a Yankee has brought out his best game this spring. After re-signing to a minor league deal after an injury plagued past with the Yankees, he has been a pleasant surprise this Spring. He has a .500BA, scored 3 runs and has 4 RBIs so far, and is making himself a good candidate for another outfielder if Ramon Flores or Chris Young are not effective. He looks like he is in control on the field and most of all he looks healthy. This is the performance the Yankees have been looking for out of their former first round pick from 2009.
I really wish the Yankees would figure out what role they want Warren to fill because I do not want him to suffer the “Joba Chamberlain” treatment. Warren was mentioned as a starter candidate last season every time someone went down and that trend is starting again this season. Now that Chris Capuano will be out several weeks with a quad strain he seems to be the favorite for the new starter. Warren has been a successful reliever for the Yankees the past two seasons.
He could be a starter, he has enough pitches in his repertoire and he worked his way through the system as a starter. I’m not sure what Warren’s future is, I just hope he can continue to adapt and be effective. I am interested to see what Warren brings to the table this season.
I like that the Yankees didn’t go out and spend a lot of money on veterans or superstars. Maybe the Yankees are finally turning a page and using their money internally. I have been called a prospect hugger many times, and I am OK with that. For the first time in many years the future in the farm looks very bright and I can’t want to see what happens this year. Bring on the youth movement!
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer and Editor
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