It happened again. And this time could have been the last time, for who knows what is going to happen to poor Francisco Cervelli.
This kind of thing always happens to the players I like. I feel bad for liking them if it's just going to mean they will get hurt. This is what I get for being a fan...
Maybe I should stop pitying myself, and start pitying the guy who deserves pity: Francisco Cervelli.
Last Wednesday in a Spring Training game against the Houston Astros, Francisco Cervelli, at that time the favorite for the backup catcher job, fouled a ball right off his left foot. On Friday he discovered that his foot was indeed fractured, and he will have to miss at least four weeks of action - meaning that he will not start the season as the backup catcher.
I just feel awful for Cervelli. All offseason long, I had heard how Cervelli was working closely with Robinson Cano down in the Dominican Republic, how he lost some weight and was in fabulous shape, and how he was preparing so hard to be that backup catcher.
And now this.
But this is not the first time Francisco Cervelli has been injured during Spring Training. On March 8 2008, Elliot Johnson of the Rays inexcusably collided with Cervelli in a play at the plate, shattering his wrist. But he made it back.
Last year I almost died when I saw what happened to him. It was March 6 2010 - Cervelli's 24th birthday - and I was going to watch the game and write a nice "Happy Birthday: blog post for him.
I wrote this instead: http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/03/oh-cervelli.html
Getting drilled in the head and sustaining a concussion on your birthday? How unlucky is that...but Cervelli made it back from that as well, and finished 2010 with solid numbers.
There is no question in my mind that Francisco Cervelli has what it takes to make it back. He has heart. I'm just worried that he won't have an opening.
Francisco Cervelli's injury basically opens the door for Jesus Montero to slide right in to the backup catcher spot. Before this tragedy occurred, Montero would have most likely started the season in Triple A. Now he's first in line for the spot Cervelli deserves.
Maybe I should stop complaining - I'm not being a good fan. Fans are supposed to want what is best for their team.
And maybe (although I hate to admit it), just maybe, this injury which may allow Jesus Montero to make the Big League roster, is the best thing for my Yankees. If Montero can prove that he can succeed in the Majors, there is no way he is going back to Scranton. Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long said he thinks as of right now, Montero is a .270 hitter in the bigs. Cervelli hit .270 last season. But unlike Cervelli, Montero possesses extreme power at the plate. And behind the plate, his defense has improved dramatically.
A rookie catcher worked wonders for the San Francisco Giants last year...perhaps the Yankees will have similar luck.
by Virginia Califano
Questions? Comments? Contact Virginia at firstname.lastname@example.org