NEW YORK -- Austin Romine couldn't be in a better position. Romine, the Yankees' young catcher, is playing for a team managed by a former backstop in Joe Girardi, which means he has both a built-in support system and somebody who understands the priorities of the position.
Romine, batting just .182 this season, drew raves from Girardi for his defensive work on Sunday. Veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli is on the disabled list for New York, and Chris Stewart has been limited by injury in recent days, all but ceding the everyday job to Romine.
"I think he's gotten into a better rhythm with our pitchers. He has a better understanding," said Girardi of Romine's development this season. "He's been able to watch them a few times. He's gotten back there with I think almost everybody at this point. I think he's just getting more comfortable."
Romine, son of former Red Sox player Kevin Romine and brother of Angels prospect Andrew Romine, batted just .158 in nine games with the Yankees in 2011, but Girardi isn't worried about his bat. New York wants Romine to handle the pitching staff, and Girardi said he's beginning to excel at it.
"Its always tough when you come in the middle of a season," Girardi said. "Especially as a young catcher, to feel like you know exactly what they want to do. That can be difficult, and it can be a day where a guy doesn't have everything and that makes it harder. I think he's adjusted really well.
Brignac excited to join Yanks, his third team this year
NEW YORK -- Prior to this season, Reid Brignac had spent his entire career within the Tampa Bay organization. And now he's on his third team in three months. Brignac, acquired from the Rockies on Saturday, began life with the Yankees on Sunday and was immediately penciled into the lineup, but the game against the Blue Jays was postponed due to rain.
Brignac, a former second-round draftee, was sent from Tampa Bay to Colorado in February for cash considerations and a player to be named. And after batting .250 in 29 games for the Rockies, he found himself designated for assignment and then packaged in another deal to the Yankees.
"It's been a roller coaster of emotions," said Brignac. "I was in a pretty good place with Colorado. I was a little upset and slightly disappointed in the circumstances, but to be picked up by the Yankees is a great experience. I'm very excited to get started and to help this team continue winning."
Brignac, who was issued No. 40 and slotted in at shortstop on Sunday before the rainout, will try to bring stability to one of the Yankees' most volatile spots this season. Both Derek Jeter and his backup, Eduardo Nunez, are on the disabled list, and Jayson Nix has stepped in as the answer at shortstop.
Nix moved to third base in Sunday's lineup to accommodate Brignac, but manager Joe Girardi said there should be plenty of playing time for both infielders as the Yankees move forward. Girardi said that Brignac, just 27 years old, will get a chance to realize his potential in New York.
"I think he's a really good defender. And I think he's got a little pop in his bat. This ballpark might play well for that," said Girardi. "I've seen him have some big days. I've seen him have some good years. I think there's some good talent there. We're going to see what he can do."
Brignac, a native of St. Amant, La., described himself as easygoing Sunday, and he said that he'll be happy to do whatever the Yankees need him to do. That could mean coming off the bench and playing multiple positions, but Brignac is just happy to be part of his boyhood idol's team.
"As a kid, [Jeter] is probably the biggest role model for most kids. He was for me when I was growing up and idolizing him," said Brignac, a career .228 hitter in 285 games in the Major Leagues. "To be able to play with him -- and several guys in this clubhouse -- it's an honor. It really is."
Teixeira has yet to take live batting practice
NEW YORK -- Mark Teixeira is eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list at the beginning of June, but the Yankees still aren't sure of his trajectory. Teixeira has been able to take tee-and-toss batting practice, but he's still waiting to ramp up to a rehab assignment in the Minor Leagues.
"There has to be probably a next step where he sees some live BP or some simulated games," said manager Joe Girardi. "He's definitely on the 60-day DL, so [he] can't be [back] before June 1.
Teixeira, sidelined by a right wrist injury, hasn't been able to play at all this season. The Yankees have made do with veteran Lyle Overbay, and Girardi has said recently that he worries about playing his contingency plan too much. At any rate, the Yankees know that Teixeira still needs more time.
"He has not taken live BP. He's going to have to get some swings," said Girardi. "And the tricky part for him is left-handed, right-handed, having to do both."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.