Cervelli's surgery opens door for Romine

Cervelli's surgery opens door for Romine

NEW YORK -- With catcher Francisco Cervelli expected to miss at least six weeks with a fractured right hand, manager Joe Girardi said the Yankees will rely on a combination of Chris Stewart and Austin Romine behind the dish.

Stewart was in the starting lineup on Saturday, batting ninth, but Girardi said that Romine -- promoted on Saturday from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre -- will get his fair share of opportunities.

"He's going to catch some -- I'm going to catch Stew today, but I'll look at it every day," Girardi said. "We've got to see how Austin does when we put him in this situation. And how he does will probably [determine] how much we use him."

Romine, the No. 18-ranked Yankees prospect, according to MLB.com, missed most of the 2012 season after undergoing back surgery, but he was off to a fast start at Triple-A. The 24-year-old backstop was hitting .333 (14-for-42) with one home run and four RBIs through 14 games.

"We had him up here in 2011, and I thought he did a good job," Girardi said of Romine, who appeared in nine games with the Yanks in '11. "His problem is he's been hurt and hasn't played a lot. I felt then that, defensively, he could catch in the big leagues. Then he had the back injury and didn't get many at-bats last year. We just felt that -- we don't necessarily consider him a backup; we consider him an everyday player -- so we thought it would be in his best interest to go play every day down in Triple-A."

Though Romine didn't break camp with the Yankees this spring, as he had hoped to, he's planning to make a lasting impression in his second stint in the big leagues.

"Any time you get any type of [playing] time, you've got to show them what you can do," Romine said. "I'm going to take whatever time I do have here, and I'm going to show them that I can do it."

Cervelli, who sustained his injury when he was hit by a foul tip in the first inning of Friday's 6-4 win over Toronto, underwent successful surgery on Saturday morning.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.