Yanks anticipate catching tandem of Cervelli-Stewart

Yanks anticipate catching tandem of Cervelli-Stewart

TAMPA, Fla. -- Joe Girardi wants to clarify that he has not officially decided who his Opening Day catcher will be, but the Yankees are locked into the idea that Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart will be handling their pitching staff this season.

Girardi said on Thursday that he has been pleased by what he has seen from the catching tandem, and even though the Yankees still want to figure out how to divvy up the innings behind the plate, the manager is happy that his catchers are putting defense first.

"I think these guys have played pretty well in camp. They've done a nice job with our staff," Girardi said. "Coming into camp, I think there were some questions about Cervy a little bit about throwing, because he had struggled in the past, but we had seen him really good when he first came up. I think he's back to that level again."

Cervelli and Stewart had something of an advantage this spring over other catchers, like prospect Austin Romine and veteran non-roster invitee Bobby Wilson, because they are both out of Minor League options.

Girardi said that he might wait until the season begins to figure out exactly how much Cervelli and Stewart will play, but he said from personal experience that situations where a starting catcher plays in three of every five games can be option, as well as assigning personal catchers to certain pitchers.

"It can work out pretty well, actually," Girardi said. "You can do it that way, keep them fresh, they know when they're playing. I think that's the big thing if you can sort it out as soon as you can, so they have a plan of when they're playing. I think that's important."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.