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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Francisco Cervelli has sights set on winning Yankees starting catching job

Yes…and I have my sights set on becoming Benjamin Booker’s agent.

Cervelli, the man most likely to replace Martin, and a player known for his exuberance, would have had every right to pump a fist, point a finger to the sky, pound his chest. But the 26-year old Cervelli says he did nothing of that sort. He says he did nothing at all.

“I was happy for Russell because it was a good deal for him,” Cervelli said in a phone interview earlier this week. “But for myself, I’m not going to make any conclusions. I know I have a lot of work to do, and I am going to remain very focused on that work.

“The way I’m thinking, I’ve changed a little bit because of what happened last year,” Cervelli continued. “But I’m very positive and looking forward to being the starting catcher, but I don’t think too much about it. I keep my expectations low because a lot of things can happen. But I really want it and this is my dream. It’s always been my dream.”

...That seems to leave Cervelli, a career .271 hitter with a career .339 on-base percentage and solid defensive skills, as the leading candidate to be the starter. For a guy who has never had an opportunity to play regularly in the big leagues, that is a huge opportunity. Cervelli cannot deny that, but at the same time wants to let his game do the talking.

“I made a change this year and decided to play Winter Ball,” said Cervelli, who is hitting .305 with two homers and 14 RBI for Navegantes del Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League. “I played really good baseball, I hit well, I caught well and I was working on all the little things that can make me better. I never stopped working hard. This is my passion and I’m going to do everything I can to be the starter for the Yankees.”

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2013 at 07:33 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: January 12, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4345586)
Cervelli comes across like the Sammy Glick of catchers. I've seen him hold the ball in place hoping to get a call from umps on pitches laughably out of the strike zone. Exuberant? More like spastic.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4345593)
I think Cervelli can be decent. If he can replicate his career line (88 wRC+, slightly below avg. defense) he would give the Yankees ~1.5 WAR at C, which is exactly what Martin did.

If he lives up to his minor league rep, and can play plus defense, he'll be pretty good.
   3. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: January 12, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4345595)
Didn't the Yanks make it clear last season that they prefer Stewart over Cervelli? They traded a decent reliever to get him and Cervelli had a bad season in the minors.
   4. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4345596)
Bizarre as it sounds--and I'm as shocked as anyone--if Cervelli can hold up his 2010-11 numbers, he actually won't represent a huge offensive drop from Martin.

Cervelli, 2010-11:
136 G, 454 PA, .269/.348/.354 (89 OPS+) 1.8 oWAR

Martin, 2012:
133 G, 485 PA, .211/.311/.403 (92 OPS+), 2.2 oWAR

Now, the two big factors there are (1) Can Cervelli maintain that level across a full-season and (2) How much of a downgrade is he defensively?
   5. Blastin Posted: January 12, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4345622)
Yeah, he does well with OBP and can occasionally run into one. I'd rather try him out instead of Stewart, and maybe Sanchez can take over in 2015 or whatever.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4345642)
Didn't the Yanks make it clear last season that they prefer Stewart over Cervelli? They traded a decent reliever to get him and Cervelli had a bad season in the minors.

I think they like Stewart as a good, all glove, backup. I don't think they view him as a starter.

I mean, if they thought Stewart was starter material, why didn't he get more PT when Martin was struggling horribly in the first half?

Through July 31, Martin was hitting 188/307/376, but Stewart only got 33 starts. I'd have to think that with Martin struggling badly, and a FA after the season, they would have given Stewart a much bigger look if they thought he could be the answer at C.
   7. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 12, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4345644)
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 12, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4345711)
Didn't the Yanks make it clear last season that they prefer Stewart over Cervelli? They traded a decent reliever to get him and Cervelli had a bad season in the minors.

Stewart gave them catching depth but didn't have options while Cervelli did. FWIW, Cashman said that if Martin was out for an extended time last year, they'd have called up Cervelli to start. Either could win the 2013 job in spring training, as could Austin Romine, but they might have to keep looking over their shoulder if better options emerge.
   9. hardrain Posted: January 12, 2013 at 07:08 PM (#4345791)
The Bronx grapevine is that the pitchers do not like working with him. Stewart has a much deeper understanding of what pitchers are trying to do.

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