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Molina now ahead of Montero, Romine

It appears that will four more days of spring training to go, the Yankees have determined that the second-best catcher in their camp is the guy with the walking boot on his foot. This afternoon, Joe Girardi let it slip that Gustavo Molina, who has appeared in 14 games this spring but come to the plate only 13 times (.077, one single), has at least pulled even with the wunderkinds, Jesus Montero and Austin Romine and in fact may now be the favorite to win the backup catcher position.

"He's a guy we're looking at,'' Girardi said. "Molina does have big league experience. We've given the young kids a lot of looks and we're giving Molina some looks now, too, so that we know we feel like we're making the right decision; what's right for everyone, the team, these young guys' careers. These are kids that have only caught every day one year. That's a decision that we have to make, or do you want to go with a veteran guy that has caught in the big leagues and knows how to do it?''

When it was pointed out to Girardi that is sounded as if Molina's chances to make the team had increased recently, if only because the other two hadn't progressed as hoped, the manager said "Good observation.''

And when asked if whoever was anointed No. 2 behind Russell Martin would just be holding a place for the return of Francisco Cervelli, out for at least another three weeks with a broken foot, Girardi said, "Cervy was having a great spring. We all know what he can do and what he's capable of doing. It's unfortunate he got hurt; I think I'm going to put him on the Mo program next year so we can keep him healthy. You look at Cervy as the guy we're missing.''