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Austin Romine, Dellin Betances among 11 Yankees reassignments Monday

Top prospects two of a quartet optioned to Triple-A
03/11/2013 5:56 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
The Yankees optioned eight players on their 40-man roster to the Minor Leagues and re-assigned three more to Minor League camp on Monday afternoon, with one of the 11 moves effectively ending the team’s oft-analyzed catching competition.

The moves were announced following the Bombers’ 4-0 win over the Cardinals Monday, with catcher Austin Romine’s option to Triple-A the most notable of the bunch. GM Brian Cashman said multiple times this spring that Romine would likely open at Triple-A and should be there “developmentally,” and barring an injury later in the month, this move confirms that he will begin at Scranton.

Also optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre were a trio of pitchers, RHPs Dellin Betances and Brett Marshall and LHP Francisco Rondon. Betances, who threw two innings on Monday, and Marshall are expected to be two-fifths of the RailRiders’ rotation this summer, while Rondon, who allowed one run in seven innings over five appearances this spring, will be part of Scranton’s bullpen and could end up in the Bronx sooner rather than later if either of the Yankees’ lefties, Boone Logan or Clay Rapada, are unable to begin the season on time.

The Yankees also optioned a quartet to Double-A, with LHPs Manny Banuelos and Nik Turley, RHP Jose Ramirez, and OF Ramon Flores assigned to Trenton. Turley, Ramirez, and Flores will all be moving up after spending most of last season with Class-A Tampa, although Turley and Flores did join the Thunder for their Eastern League playoff run; Banuelos, meanwhile, made six starts for Scranton last year, and is expected to miss all of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery last fall.

The three players reassigned to Minor League camp were RHP Chase Whitley, C J.R. Murphy and 1B Luke Murton, the latter of whom played on Monday. Whitley and Murton will likely start the season at Triple-A with Murphy joining the Thunder, but because they are not on the 40-man roster, they are simply re-assigned for now as opposed to being optioned to one of the affiliates.

Following the moves, the Yankees have 52 players remaining in Major League camp – a revised total that now includes outfielder Ben Francisco, who was signed to a Minor League deal on Monday.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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