Friday, May 10, 2013

Do NOT Give Austin Romine More Playing Time

Many people, myself included, have been saying that Austin Romine should get more playing time. The arguments stem from him being a better hitter than Stewart, to Romine needing more playing time to keep developing. The latter argument can not be denied, as a player can not develop from the bench. Sure, they can learn by watching and listening to those that know how or do play, but you can't get better at baseball by just studying. Being a better "hands on" learner, I know that to be a fact due to personal experience.

However, the part about being a better hitter can be argued against. Unfortunately, neither side of that argument can be proven. Austin has much better numbers in AAA than Stewart ever has (minors or majors), but anybody that's ever paid attention to professional sports can tell you that good minor league numbers do not always translate into good major league numbers. While I'm not about to call 365 MLB plate appearances a large enough sample to say anything definitive about Romine's hitting ability, his batting line of .120/.185/.120 does not make me look forward to his next trip to the plate.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Stewart's batting line is much better, as it currently sits at .245/.278/.367. But Chris clearly has a good rapport with Yankee pitchers, his defense is above average, and his caught stealing percentage of 45% is way above the league average of 25% (his career CS% is 35%). And seeing as how the Yankees aren't going to club their way to a bunch of wins, run prevention means a heck of a lot more.

As for Austin Romine's development, it shouldn't take precedence over giving the Yankees the best chance to win. That's been the biggest issue with the Yankees inability to develop many MLB regulars. Teams that have been good at doing so, such as the Rays, were basically a laughing-stock in MLB for years. It was during that time that they developed players like David Price, Evan Longoria, and Matt Moore. The Royals were able to develop players like Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon, without worrying about negatively affecting the MLB club. The Yankees don't have that luxury, as winning will never be pushed aside. "Rebuilding" is a dirty word in the Yankee Universe. So if the development of Austin Romine, who... let's face it... isn't an elite prospect anyway, suffers then so be it. In fact, I think Romine should be used as trade bait as soon as Francisco Cervelli is healthy again.

So when Chris Stewart gets called upon to start another game, I'm not going to be one of the Yankee fans saying "oh, come on, give Austin another start!"

"Thanks for the support."

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)