The Yankees won last night's game against the Red Sox, but they also lost their backup catcher and acting first baseman in Francisco Cervelli to a grade 2 hamstring strain. They previously had Austin Romine up with the team, but he has since been sent down. It wouldn't have been a surprise if he returned in order to fill the backup catcher roll, but it seems that instead, John Ryan Murphy will get the call.
Baseball source says JR Murphy will be called up Tuesday to take Francisco Cervelli's spot as backup catcher.— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) April 14, 2014
It was previously believed that Murphy would only be called up to serve as the starting catcher if Brian McCann ever missed time (which almost became a reality last night, as well), with Romine being the replacement backup. I guess, if they're going to have to play one of them regularly, they're much more interested in Murphy.
In his age-22 season, he impressed with a .269/.347/.426 line between Double-A and Triple-A. Unfortunately, he didn't hit particularly well in his short time with the Yankees. He also struggled in spring training and has not gotten off to a great start in Triple-A. For what it's worth (maybe nothing), he's actually hit only .141/.162/.228 since being called up last year. Whether this will carry over to 2014 is yet to be seen, but hopefully they won't be damaging any trade value Murphy might have if he ends up struggling.
The Yankees have five catchers on the 40-man roster, and even though it has come in handy so far, it would be nice to trade one of them for a more useful player, like an infielder. It would be nice to see Murphy perform admirably as the backup catcher until Cervelli returns and not hurt his trade value.