Tag:Francisco Cervelli
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:11 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 10:43 am
 

Spring primer: New York Yankees



By C. Trent Rosecrans

After a one-year stint as an underdog, the Yankees are back to being the clear favorite in the American League East. New York fortified its rotation with Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda, upgrading what appeared to be its one weak link.

Yankees spring training
Major additions: RHP Michael Pineda, RHP Hiroki Kuroda, DH Raul Ibanez
Major departures: RHP A.J. Burnett, DH Jesus Montero, RHP Bartolo Colon, DH Jorge Posada

Probable lineup:
1. Derek Jeter SS
2. Curtis Granderson CF
3. Robinson Cano 2B
4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
5. Mark Teixeira 1B
6. Nick Swisher RF
7. Russell Martin C
8. Raul Ibanez DH
9. Brett Gardner LF

Probable rotation:
1. CC Sabathia
2. Hiroki Kuroda
3. Michael Pineda
4. Ivan Nova
5. Phil Hughes

Back-end bullpen
Closer: Mariano Rivera
Set-up: RHP David Robertson, RHP Rafael Soriano

Important bench players
C Francisco Cervelli, IF Eduardo Nunez, OF Andruw Jones, IF Eric Chavez

Prospect to watch: With the additions of Kuroda and Pineda, there's not quite the pressure on left-hander Manny Banuelos that there was last spring. Banuelos doesn't turn 21 until March 13, so he can develop without the pressure of being the savior of the Yankees. His results last season at Double-A and Triple-A didn't live up to the hype, but he's still a quality young pitcher than can contribute to the rotation in the future.

Fantasy breakout: Michael Pineda

"With a year of experience, he'll be better equipped to handle a full workload, which could lead to 15-plus victories with the Yankees' stellar lineup backing him. And most likely, any rise in ERA will be in relation to the early 2.58 mark, not the final 3.74 mark." - Scott White

Fantasy sleeper: Phil Hughes

"With an improved workout program this offseason, he should be able to pick up where he left off late last year, when he was throwing in the low-to-mid 90s. True, Hughes wasn't exactly an ace then, but just by holding a regular rotation spot for the high-scoring Yankees, he's a sleeper in Fantasy. And if he can recapture the form he showed in the first half of 2010, when he was an All-Star, he's a late-round steal." - Scott White

Optimistic outlook: Pineda lives up to expectations, Kuroda is solid, Nova takes a step forward, Hughes makes 30 starts and Sabathia wins the Cy Young. That pitching, with a healthy A-Rod, Granderson repeating his 2011 output and Teixeira lives up to his contract and the Yankees win the AL East easily and go on to win the World Series.

Pessimistic outlook: Anything less than a World Series title is the end of the world in New York, so it doesn't have to be too bad for Yankees fans to overreact. But the worst-case scenario is the team's older stars continue to age, with injuries taking away A-Rod, Jeter, Teixeira and Martin for long periods of times. Pineda struggles in New York and his lack of a third pitch comes back to bite him, Kuroda is mediocre and Nova takes a step back. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays take a step forward and New York finishes behind Tampa Bay, Boston and Toronto.

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Posted on: November 23, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: November 24, 2011 12:26 am
 

Homegrown Team: New York Yankees



By Matt Snyder


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no waivers, no minor- or major-league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams.

It's late November. The awards have all been handed out. The Winter Meetings are in a few weeks. Pitchers and catchers don't report for almost three months. So it's the perfect time to kick off a fun little series. So we're starting the Homegrown series right now. We have a landing page that will be filled out as we move forward with the feature -- on which you can see the exact date we'll be posting each individual team.

What I love most about this series is that it has the potential to either enlighten or vindicate rabid fans in heated arguments. Large-market, big-spending teams are often attacked by opposing fans as simply trying to "buy championships" without having to develop their own talent. The biggest target is the Yankees, so what better team to start the series with?

The news is pretty good for the haters. You have been vindicated. This team would be ... well, you'll see.

Lineup

1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Robinson Cano, 2B
4. Alfonso Soriano, DH
5. Jesus Montero, 1B
6. Melky Cabrera, RF
7. Austin Jackson, CF
8. Francisco Cervelli, C
9. Eduardo Nunez, 3B

Starting Rotation

1. Ian Kennedy
2. Ivan Nova
3. Phil Hughes
4. Chien-Ming Wang
5. Jeff Karstens

Bullpen

Closer - Mariano Rivera
Set up - John Axford, David Robertson, Tyler Clippard, Mark Melancon, Joba Chamberlain
Long - Phil Coke? Jose Contreras?

Notable Bench Players

Jorge Posada, Dioner Navarro, Juan Rivera, Jose Tabata ... and that's about it. Unless Marcus Thames and Shelley Duncan get you excited.

What's Good?

That bullpen is sick. It would easily be the best in baseball, with any lead past the fifth inning seemingly being safe in the hands of Clippard, Robertson, Axford and Rivera.

What's Not?

Anything else. Nothing is horrible, but the lineup, defense and rotation leave a lot to be desired. What's worse, there's really no depth in case of injuries. They'd have to turn to either Coke or a minor leaguer (Dellin Betances?) in the rotation -- or convince Andy Pettitte to come out of retirement -- and Ramiro Pena is the only backup infielder. There are plenty of backup outfielders, but Tabata's really the only one with upside.

Comparison to real 2011

Well, let's see. The 2011 Yankees won 97 games en route to a division title and the best record in the American League. This team is mediocre at best. The bullpen is awesome, but how many leads would there be to protect? 75? There is an MVP candidate in Cano, but having Soriano as protection isn't near as cushy as he's used to. Since this is the first team in our 30-team series, we won't reveal many other specifics, but I can tell you that this Yankees team would probably finish fourth in the AL East. Thus, it's much worse than reality. I have no way of measuring this, but I do think this team is better than many Yankee-hating fans would have guessed. Lots of those act like the Yankees have never developed anyone. This isn't an awful collection, it's just not good.

Now, it's absolutely worth noting the Yankees lost lots of draft picks as compensation for signing free agents, so that's why they don't have any depth. But let's just remember this is supposed to be a fun exercise for the offseason.

Up next: San Diego Padres

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Posted on: September 17, 2011 11:29 am
 

Yanks' Cervelli may not be available for playoffs

Francisco CervelliBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Yankees backup catcher Francisco Cervelli may not be ready for the playoffs, manager Joe Girardi told reporters on Friday. Cervelli suffered a concussion on Sept. 8 and hasn't played since. Cervelli is scheduled to visit a neurologist next week.

"I think you have to prepare that he won't be (available) only because it's so unpredictable," Girardi told reporters (via New York Daily News). "That's what's so scary because we've seen so many guys miss so much time with them, and they're still missing time. I heard (Justin) Morneau talking about when he dove for a ball at first base, the concussion symptoms came back. You just don't know what's going to happen."

Francisco CervelliIf Cervelli's unable to play in the first round of the playoffs, the Yankees will have to make a choice between two rookies to backup Russell Martin. Austin Romaine is the better defensive catcher of the two rookies, but Jesus Montero has the more potent bat. The two have combined for just 18 big-league innings behind the plate and one start apiece.

Montero, 21, is hitting .286/.359/.571 with three homers and six RBI in 39 plate appearances spanning 10 games (mostly as a DH), while Romine has one hit in four plate appearances in two games. He replaced Montero for the final three innings of Montero's one start behind the plate.

The Yankees, of course, still have Jorge Posada, who can catch, but he's logged just as many innings behind the plate as Montero this season (6), and manager Joe Girardi isn't a huge fan of Posada's skills behind the plate. If he's used as the DH, the Yankees would lost the DH if Martin were to leave a game with injury and he was the only backup.

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Posted on: September 12, 2011 10:12 am
 

Pepper: Ortiz says it's time to panic



By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Wild Cards were all sewn up -- or so we thought.

While it appeared the Braves and Red Sox would cruise to the Wild Card (or the AL East title for Boston), but in the last week, things have gotten interesting. St. Louis swept Atlanta to move just 4.5 games behind Atlanta and Tampa Bay is now just 3.5 games behind the Red Sox as Boston finished a 1-6 road trip, including being swept by the Rays.

Still, there's not a whole lot of baseball left, the two favorites are still favored by mathematicians to hold onto their leads. So it's not time to panic, right?

"Hell yeah, you've got to panic at this point, but you're not going to do anything panicking but playing better," Boston's David Ortiz told reporters (Boston Herald). "Of course you're freaked out, you go on this road trip, 1-6, it's not good. We've got these guys breathing down our next and we're not in first place, either."

Give him credit, Ortiz is always entertaining and this time he's right. The team should worry about the Rays and can't get too worked up about it because panic doesn't help a team play any better. It's an interesting balancing act, playing with urgency, but not panic. Baseball's a tough game that's even tougher when you press.

Cuddyer's homer helped save teammate: Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer hit two game-winning homers in a minor-league playoff series in 2001 to lead his team to a victory in the best-of-five series. If his team had lost the series, teammate Brad Thomas and his wife, Kylie, had already booked a flight home to Australia. The couple would have started its journey on American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles on Sept. 11, 2001. With the win, Thomas and his wife had to stay for the next series.

"He credits me for saving his life," Cuddyer told MLB.com. "I mean, I don't know about that. It was just a twist of fate."

Thomas is currently on the Tigers' 60-day disabled list.

Cuddyer also wrote about the incident on FoxSports North.

Wainwright remembers: We all have our own personal stories about where we were on Sept. 11, 2001 -- I drove from Athens, Ga., to Washington, D.C., the day before to go to see PJ Harvey at the 9:30 Club on Sept. 10, 2001. I still have the ticket stub and a September 12, 2001, Washington Post to share with my kids some day. Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright was in New York for the Red Sox-Yankees game on Sept. 10, 2001, and then cancelled a morning meeting near the World Trade Center the next day in order to get on the road to Cooperstown with his brother. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Waiting on Theo: Matt touched on this yesterday, but word is Tom Ricketts is willing to wait for his dream GM, Boston's Theo Epstein. While MLB looks down on major offseason announcements before the end of the World Series, those decisions happen all the time and are usually uncovered before the official announcement. However, there is a real wait if one of those interviewed and hired is still working. That could be the case with Boston's Epstein, reportedly Ricketts' top pick. If Epstein is in the least bit interested, Ricketts will wait. [Chicago Tribune]

Beckett to throw: Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett will test his injured right ankle in a bullpen session Monday and could return to the rotation by the end of the week -- welcome news to the Red Sox. [Boston Herald]

Weeks to go slow: Rickie Weeks returned to the Brewers' lineup on Sunday, walking and being hit by a pitch in his only plate appearances and was taken out of the game after four innings. The team plans on taking it slow with him. The Brewers are off on Monday and manager Ron Roenicke said he would try to get Weeks back into the game on Tuesday and maybe increase his innings. Weeks missed six weeks after suffering a severe left ankle sprain. [Appleton Post-Crescent]

Cruz ready to return: The Rangers are in the closest playoff race in baseball, leading the Angels by 2.5 games and they get some good news on Tuesday when Nelson Cruz says he'll be ready to return from the disabled list. Cruz went on the DL on Aug. 30 with a strained left hamstring and ran in the outfield on Saturday. The Rangers don't have any minor-league affiliates still playing, so the team will activate Cruz without a rehab assignment. [MLB.com]

Zimmermann bored sitting out: Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann hasn't pitched in two weeks and won't pitch in the final two weeks of the season. The good news is that next season he won't have an innings limit. With Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals have the building blocks for a very good rotation. [Washington Post]

Prado struggling: An All-Star in 2010, Atlanta's Martin Prado his having a disappointing 2011. The 27-year-old super utility player is hitting .261/.307/.385 this season, well below the .307/.356/.454 line he put up in his first five seasons in the big leagues. The prolonged slump is costing him sleep, Prado told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Romine relishes chance: While Jesus Montero garnered headlines when he was called up, the Yankees have a better catching prospect, Austin Romine. With injuries to Russell Martin and Francisco Cervelli, Romine made his big-league debut on Sunday. Romine had thought his season was over after Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre finished its season, but Joe Girardi needed a replacement and got in touch with Romine on Saturday. Girardi hadn't been able to get in touch with the catcher, so he had to go to the Angels' clubhouse to talk to Romine's brother, Andrew, an infielder with the Angles, to get a better number. Austin Romine replaced Montero in the ninth inning, catching Mariano Rivera, who recorded his 599th career save. [MLB.com]

ThunderBolts to White Sox: Just two years ago Dylan Axelrod was pitching for the Windy City ThunderBolts of the independent Frontier League. On Wednesday, he'll be throwing in the Windy City again, but for the White Sox in place of former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy. [Chicago Tribune]

Mo Coco: Reds closer Francisco Cordero is willing to re-negotiate his $12 million option for 2012 and general manager Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that an extension is a "possibility." Cordero, a whipping boy in Cincinnati, has had an outstanding year, recording 32 saves with a 2.30 ERA with five blown saves. Since coming to the Reds in 2008, Cordero has 145 saves and 23 blown saves, converting 86 percent of his chances with a 2.94 ERA. The Reds don't have an obvious candidate to take over in the ninth inning if they decline his $12 million option. He was the team's highest-paid player in 2011 and his $12 million in 2012 would be the tied for the team's highest-paid player along with second baseman Brandon Phillips, who also has a $12 million option for 2012 that the team is expected to pick up.

Eat before you go: We see a report like this just about every year, but it's always a good reminder -- if you want your food handled properly before you eat it, you've got to make sure to do it yourself. [CBS Chicago]

Bourjos takes blame: We all have those people we know or work with that will never admit fault -- there's always some crazy excuse or reason something went wrong, and it's never their fault, it's some extenuating circumstance. The Angels' Peter Bourjos is not that guy. His error doomed the Angels on Sunday, and instead of complaining about the sun or anything, taking full responsibility for the play that killed his team. [Los Angeles Times]

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Posted on: September 10, 2011 10:09 pm
 

Posada enters game as catcher, throws out runner

PosadaBy Evan Brunell

Prior to Saturday, Las Vegas would have refused to take a bet on Jorge Posada throwing out a runner as catcher in Saturday's game, believing that they would have been stealing the better's money. (Well, at least more blatantly then they already do.

Except that happened.

Posada was pressed into service as catcher when Russell Martin took a foul tip off his right hand, necessitating leaving the game. Backup catcher Francisco Cervelli was unavailable thanks to a recurrence of concussion symptoms, so it was left to Posada to shoulder the load. Jesus Montero, who was DHing, also put on his catcher's gear before being told to take it off. If Montero had not been starting, he likely would have subbed in but since he was the DH, manager Joe Girardi did not want to lose the DH early in the game. (A DH that takes the field then causes the DH spot to be lost for the remainder of the game, requiring the pitcher to hit.)

It was the first time Posada had caught all year. And by year, we mean it -- he didn't even take any reps in spring training.

But that's not even the most impressive thing. The first thing the Angels did when Posada entered the game was to try to run on him, but Posada threw out second baseman Howie Kendrick on a high throw to nip that in the bud.

Martin was hit by a Maicer Izturis foul tip in the second inning but remained in the game despite blood on his thumb. However, when he threw the ball into center field while warming up CC Sabathia prior to the third, he was yanked.

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Posted on: September 1, 2011 9:55 am
 

Report: Lackey fined for bean ball

John LackeyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Red Sox starter John Lackey has been fined for hitting Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli in Tuesday's game at Fenway Park, WEEI.com's Rob Bradford reports.

Citing a major league source, Bradford writes that Lackey was finder an undisclosed amount for his bean ball. Cervelli had hit a homer off of Lackey two innings earlier and emphatically clapped his hands as he crossed the plate -- a move several Red Sox seems to think crossed the line.

Lackey denied hitting Cervelli on purpose after the game -- but did admit he was trying to knock him down, just not hit him.

The incident emptied the benches, but Lackey was not ejected from the game.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 1:59 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Report: Montero on verge of callup to Yanks

MonteroBy Evan Brunell

Hidden in the news about top Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos' promotion to Triple-A is the news that Jesus Montero will be promoted to New York "in the very near future," the Trenton Times reports.

The Yankees do need him at both catcher and DH, spots that Montero can fill in. While his promotion is overdue after hitting .289/.353/.517 with 21 home runs as a 20-year-old in Triple-A back in 2010, Montero did fall off this season when he couldn't come out of spring training with a roster spot. That has contributed to Montero hitting just .283/.342/.429 back at Triple-A, drawing reports that he is "bored," which may have contributed to a recent benching for "lack of energy."

But there's no question that the power Montero flashed last season that made so many teams drool and was almost enough to acquire Cliff Lee is still hiding in his bat. With the Yankees staying pat at the trade deadline, they need to upgrade themselves internally now that Russell Martin has cooled off behind the dish. Martin is hitting .225/.326/.366 on the season in 328 plate appearances, a line that further sinks to .203/.310/.288 in 63 games, from April 27 through July 31.

That just won't cut it, so with the addition of Montero, Martin could start losing playing time. Montero could quickly supplant catcher Francisco Cervelli and enter into a platoon of sorts with Martin provided Montero can keep up his defense behind the plate, which is a significant question mark.

In addition, Jorge Posada's new career as a DH just isn't working out, with nine home runs on the year and a .235/.318/.383 figure. Remember, this is from the DH spot, so he's adding zero defensive value. Here's where Montero can get most of his playing time.

In fact, Posada could be in danger of being released. If Montero is recalled, it stands to reason that one of Cervelli or Posada will lose his job. If it's Cervelli, all of a sudden Martin's two backups are defensively-challenged, and one of them will be starting at DH on any given day. It makes more sense to dump Posada, free up DH for a full-time audition by Montero and leave Cervelli to keep Martin fresh.

Worst case, Montero fails and puts up numbers similar to Posada's. In that case, they're no worse off and can just go acquire a bat at the end of August in advance of the waiver trade deadline.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 10:19 pm
 

Jeter day to day with bruised finger

Derek JeterBy C. Trent Rosecrans and Evan Brunell

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fourth inning of the team's game against Baltimore, an inning after he was hit in the right hand by a pitch from Orioles starter Jake Arrieta.

X-rays were negative, the team announced and he is day to day with a bruised middle finger.


"I'm not expecting it to be a week," manager Joe Girardi said, according to the Associated Press. "Could it be a day, or two? I think it could be."

Jeter was examined by Girardi and the team's trainer and stayed in the game for the top of the fourth, but was then lifted for pinch hitter Francisco Cervelli when his spot came up in the fourth.

Cervelli stayed in the game at second base, while Eduardo Nunez replaced Jeter at shortstop. New York eventually won the game, 4-2.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com