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Yanks confident in backup catcher Murphy

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NEW YORK -- The Yankees are not hiding their high hopes for catcher John Ryan Murphy, who was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday and will serve as the backup catcher to Brian McCann for the immediate future.

With Francisco Cervelli on the 60-day disabled list with a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring, the 22-year-old Murphy received the call over a more seasoned option in Austin Romine, who was up in the big leagues earlier this season.

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Manager Joe Girardi said that it was "probably a pretty close call; they both have experience, but we went with Murph." Murphy was batting .192 (5-for-26) at Triple-A and had just two hits in 26 Spring Training at-bats (.077), but the Yanks liked what they saw defensively from Murphy, a second-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

"I think I've found a little bit more of a comfort level as far as learning how to manage a game and work with my pitchers a little bit better, and know their personalities," Murphy said. "I think that's really what's made the most improvement is on my catching side."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the New York Daily News that Murphy was the best catcher available in the organization.

"Now with the injury to Cervelli, we need the best catcher possible, and that's Murphy," Cashman said. "Romine will have a chance to play every day, which is great for him. In most organizations, he'd be in a higher position than he is right now, because he's not a backup, per se. We have catching depth, and he's the No. 2 priority at Triple-A and Murph's the No. 1. Murph has really come along and he's made himself the priority."

"That gives me a little bit more confidence, I think," Murphy said. "It's good to hear that from those people. I'm going to help the team any way I can here, I'm looking forward to doing it and I'm going to have fun."

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.

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