From Chad Jennings:Austin Romine is well aware that last season’s back injury cost him valuable playing time, and he knows the Yankees have said he’s likely to open this season back in the minors. Way he sees it, that means this spring is just like last spring.
“Every year I’m coming in, and I’m trying to be on the team,” he said. “I’m not changing my mindset. … I don’t want to go to Triple-A. I want to be on this team, I’m here to show them that I can do it, and I’m going to earn it.”
“I don’t know if you’d say equal footing because he missed a lot of last year with the back,” Joe Girardi said. “His biggest thing is, he needs to stay healthy and play the whole year. I don’t see why at some time he couldn’t help us this year. I just don’t know exactly when it will be.”
Romine said he weighed in at 215 pounds, with is 13 less than at the end of last season. He wasn’t giving a best-shape-of-my-life speech. Not exactly, anyway. He was really talking about his back, which limited Romine to 31 games last season. Losing the weight, and being smart about his offseason workouts, has eased the pain and left Romine feeling fully healthy. He quickly dismissed the idea of the back injury returning this year.
“At the end of the day, I’ll be like, hey, I don’t feel anything today,” he said. “And that’s where you want to be. Don’t even notice it.”Romine also said he felt like last year was a lost season:“It’s kind of like, oh man, I missed out a little bit on some opportunities (last year),” Romine said. “But it’s still there, it’s still out in the open. I’m here now. I feel great. I tend not to dwell on the past. I missed a lot of ball for a while there, (but) I’m back and I’m itching to get going.”Speaking of last season, in 2012 Romine played in just 31 minor league games with between Rookie ball and Triple-A, hitting .243/.333/.408 in 120 at-bats.