LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi revealed that backup catcher Austin Romine has had a setback in his attempt to return from lower back inflammation, and that could explain why the team added to its catching depth by claiming catcher Craig Tatum off waivers from the D-backs on Thursday.
"From what I understand, [Romine] felt a little pinch back there," Girardi said. "I think they're evaluating what the next step will be. He doesn't feel great. He was feeling great, so it's just rehabbing the issue that he has.
"I think it's fair to say [he won't be ready to start the season]. I think it would be hard for him. He's got some things. That core as a catcher has to be really strong. He has inflammation back there. I don't know if he'll have another test or not. Sometimes when you're dealing with stuff like that, you have little setbacks and then you move forward."
Tatum, 29, batted .195 with three doubles and seven RBIs in 31 games for the Orioles last season. A third-round Draft pick of the Reds in 2004, he played for Cincinnati in '09 and Baltimore in '10 and '11. In 100 career games Tatum has hit .223 with eight doubles, one homer and 22 RBIs across 269 at-bats.