Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Spring Preview: Back-Up Catcher

Francisco Cervelli

2009 Stats: .298/1/11/1,003,456

We were first introduced to Francisco Cervelli in the Spring of 2008, when one of the Rays ran him over at home plate, fracturing his wrist. The Rays went on to lose the World Series that year in an embarrassing manner, just to watch the Yankees beat up the team that beat them in 2010. Talk of a Curse of the Cervelli soon followed.

When we first heard of Cervelli, we figured he'd be standing around the dugout going, "Hey, youse guys." It turns out he isn't from Jersey though, but from Venezuela. If Yankees fans were as ignorant as Mets fans, they'd call up the FAN to complain that Cashman was signing too many Latin American players.

Cervelli hit a surprisingly strong .298 last year, though that was in only 99 ABs (45 games). Most projections predict that he would hit at least .345 in a full season. Cervelli's most important stat? 1,003,456. Cervelli made more snap throws last season than any catcher in the history of baseball. Strike one with a man on first? Snap throw. Strike two with a man straying off thrid? Snap throw. Four pitch intentional walk? Snap throw. It's just what he does.

2010 Prediction:

Cervelli will be a more than serviceable back-up to primary catcher, Jorge Posada. Unlike our previous back-up catcher, he won't be an automatic out. More importantly, however, he will be young enough to not suffer his own hamstring injury when our primary catcher is rehabbing a hamstring injury. At some point against the Twins, Cervelli will hit a home run. As he crosses home plate, he'll turn to Joe Mauer and say, "Try not being so tall, freak." Mauer weeps for the second time in a week.

Little Known Cervelli Fact:

Before being converted to catcher, Cervelli was a pitcher who topped out at 130mph. The Yankees decided that would be unfair to the rest of the league, which was already pretty mad at the $70M extra they spend on payroll. Their compromise with Cervelli was that he could snap throw as much as he wanted.


cheshirecat said...

I like Cervelli. To add to the confusion of where he is from, he also played for the Italian team in the WBC last year. I hope he continues to develop as a hitter and gets at least 20 outs on his snap throws this season.

Rich Mahogany said...

Clearly the Yankees should sign Cervelli to a 10 year extension. Not for the good of the Yankees, but for the good of baseball.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

You can't let a local icon like Cervelli go. Granted, he's not local as in 'from New York,' but he's clearly a citizen of the world, and since the Yankees are the world's team, Cervelli is local. He's probably just waiting to see how the Mauer negotiations turn out in order to establish a market for great local players signing with their home-planet team.

Jon Roberts said...

The addition of a stocky, some kind of Italian catcher to the squad can only mean good things for the Yankees. I wonder how long it will take Cervelli to get 10 rings. Shouldn't be more than a decade I would think.

I like watching him play. He's one of those high energy guys that looks like he's having fun. To my eye he looks like a decent catcher and he hit little bit. I'm glad he's going to get more at bats this year. Will he be A.J's personal catcher?

Anonymous said...

I really love Cervelli. Yeah, he's not the greatest hitter in the world, but at least he didn't make me want to tear my eyes out when he was hitting, as opposed to Molina.

"If Yankees fans were as ignorant as Mets fans, they'd call up the FAN to complain that Cashman was signing too many Latin American players."
Ahahahahhaa. WFAN is just a scary, bad place though. As is most sports radio.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

He could end up as the personal catcher of AJ. I'm curious to see how Girardi will handle that this season.

As inane as the FAN can be at times, it is still probably the best sports radio in the States.

Anonymous said...

the FAN consists of:
- Joba to the pen (after the HE DROPPED THE BALL game, this was all he could talk about. Seriously, there wasn't anything else to discuss?!?!)
- Bronson Arroyo is the greatest pitcher ever

This is pretty funny:
It's actually kind of amusing when Andy is on WFAN because Andy's all like "I'm all humble and from Texas y'all" and Mike Francesa is... himself.

Anonymous said...

It's definitely better than WEEI (Boston sports radio), though. SHUDDER.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

Yeah, Boston sports radio is surprisingly bad. I don't know how Bostonians put up with it.