Via Andrew Marchand -
It took Francisco Cervelli a month to get over the pain of being sent down last spring training. But it left some residue, which might not be a bad thing.
Cervelli is determined to win the Yankees’ starting job this season. While pitchers and catchers may not have to report for another 37 days, Cervelli said on Sirius/XM’s MLB Network he is already in Tampa.
With Russell Martin in Pittsburgh, the Yankees’ starting catching situation is a two-man battle between Cervelli and Chris Stewart.
Joe Girardi may eventually just have a less traditional 1 and 1A setup, but Cervelli wants to win the job outright — and he wants it badly. Austin Romine will need to show the rust is completely gone after missing nearly all of ’12 with a bad back and. So while it is not impossible, it is unlikely he breaks camp with the big club if Cervelli and Stewart are healthy.
Former Yankee catcher and current Triple-A hitting coach Butch Wynegar believes in Cervelli, who hit .246 with two homers and 39 RBIs in ’12 for Scranton. Cervelli’s OPS was .657.
“I wish I had 25 Cervellis,” Wynegar said.
Wynegar talked about Cervelli’s infectious attitude — his trademark smile and grit.
“There is no doubt he is a big league catcher,” Wynegar said. “My only thing is offensively.”
Sometimes Wynegar said Cervelli tries to hit for too much power and he is not a power hitter. Wynegar stressed the old adages of going up the middle and the other way.
“That is true for 95 percent of hitters,” Wynegar said. “It is especially true for him. The kid can hit.”
Somewhat related, here’s a conversation that never took place between Joe Girardi and Kevin Long:
Long: If Wynegar laid an egg, it would roll down the back of the telly-vision set.
Girardi: Ummmm. I hadn’t thought of that.
Long: Unless it’s a male.
Girardi: Yes. It looks fairly Butch.
Seriously, Cervelli as the Yankees starting catcher in 2013? Really?
At best, he’s a .240 hitter with zero power in the majors. And, that’s not exactly the next Jorge Posada…