It’s not as crazy as you might think. Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News did a piece on Cervelli this morning, which included some insight into how the powers that be feel about Cervelli. He writes:
Cervelli, who turns 24 next month, was a revelation last season for the Yanks as a fill-in when Posada and former backup Jose Molina got hurt. From May 7-31, he appeared in 15 games. Overall, he hit .298 with a .309 on-base percentage and .372 slugging percentage in 42 games. He hit a noteworthy homer in Atlanta to key an important rally – his first career blast – and knocked in 11 runs. He also appeared briefly in the division series and ALCS.
But what really impressed the Yankees was his catching and handling of pitchers. Joe Girardi said he believed Cervelli could one day be a No. 1 catcher and pitchers such as CC Sabathia raved about him. Not bad for a guy who is generally skipped over when folks talk about Posada’s eventual replacement.
My first reaction is probably the same as most readers. That Francisco is an excellent backup, but probably can’t hit enough to hold down the position on a team like the Yanks full time. But don’t dismiss the idea. With all the questions surrounding Montero’s glove, Austin Romine being at least 2 years away and Jorge due to turn 39 on August 17th, there could be a period of time where he becomes the full-time Catcher. Girardi and the pitchers will love it, but ‘m sure many fans will miss Jorge’s firepower. Fans should remember that the first big winning streak of 2009 was when Posada was injured and Cervelli was behind the dish. During the May time period when Posada was injured, the team was 16-7 and enjoyed a 9 game winning streak. The Red Sox have moved in the direction of Pitching and Defense, and in the post-steroid era the pressure on teams to have a slugger at every position is nowhere near as great. The classic way to build a winning team is with defense up the middle, and Frankie fits that formula.
photo courtesy of Bronx Baseball Daily