McCann's slump may prompt catcher platoon

Girardi not concerned, but Romine is getting opportunities to help Yanks behind plate

McCann's slump may prompt catcher platoon

MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian McCann's name continues to grace the leaders among American League catchers in each update of the Esurance All-Star ballot, but the Yankees backstop has not been hitting like one of late.

As a result, the Yankees may be moving more toward a platoon behind the plate, with Austin Romine starting against Twins left-hander Pat Dean on Friday, his second start in three games. Romine also got a nod on Wednesday against Rockies righty Chad Bettis.

Romine went 1-for-5 with a two-run double in the Yankees' 8-2 win on Friday night.

Romine's two-run double

McCann -- who tallied 446,697 votes in the most recent All-Star update, placing him third behind the Royals' Salvador Perez (2,063,459) and the Orioles' Matt Wieters (672,822) -- was hitless in his last 12 at-bats, heading into Friday's action. Manager Joe Girardi said that he doesn't see a glaring issue.

McCann's bases-loaded walk

"He's had some struggles. I thought he hit a ball good last night and didn't get anything to show for it," Girardi said. "It's not anything I can really put a finger on. He's just not getting a lot of hits, is the bottom line. I don't really see much different in him mechanically. He's just kind of going through a tough time."

Part of the issue may be traced to a hyperextended left elbow which forced McCann to miss two games earlier this month. Since June 4, he has produced just four hits in 28 at-bats (.142), and is batting .098 over his last 18 games. Girardi said that he doesn't believe wear and tear is the reason.

"Not any more than years past," Girardi said. "That's just the nature of that position. I think his health is pretty good for this time of year."

Girardi added that there are no physical issues of note with outfielder Brett Gardner, who was also out of the lineup Friday. Gardner is 3-for-22 (.136) with no extra-base hits or RBIs in his last six games.

Worth noting

Mark Teixeira ran on the outfield grass again on Friday at Target Field and continues to eye a Minor League rehabilitation assignment that could begin next week. Teixeira's target is to play first base in a game on Tuesday, which would likely be for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre vs. Toledo.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.