The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Friday notes: With Cervelli out, opportunity awaits

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes on Mar 04, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The door to the big leagues is officially wide open for top Yankees prospect Jesus Montero.

Francisco Cervelli has a fracture on top of his foot above the toes. It’s not the exact same spot where the foul ball hit his foot, but the force of the blow must have traveled. Cervelli is on crutches right now and he’ll be in a boot — but not a cast — for at least four weeks. The MRI results are being sent to a foot specialist.

“You could see the disappointment when we walked over to tell him,” Joe Girardi said.

Most obviously, this opens a door for Montero to make the leap from minor league prospect to big league backup. Austin Romine is also in the mix, though he doesn’t have the same upper-level experience as Montero. Girardi also mentioned the veteran Gustavo Molina, who has limited major league experience in parts of three seasons.

“We still have plenty of guys here that could earn that spot,” Girardi said. “We have Montero here, we have Romine here and we brought in Molina. If we felt our kids weren’t ready, or you had something happen, Molina is a guy that has big league experience and knows how to handle a staff. Basically what it does is it probably eliminates one catcher from the Opening Day competition.”

The situation has not changed for Jorge Posada.

“We’re still planning on him being a DH,” Girardi said. “I can’t tell you 100 percent exactly what’s going to happen over the next couple of weeks, I can’t, just like I wouldn’t have predicted this. But right now I don’t plan on having him really catch in a game right now. We’ll see what the other guys can do.”

• Rafael Soriano faced hitters for the first time this spring. He threw live batting practice to Jose Gil, who said he was throwing quality strikes with all of his pitches. “Probably as many swings and misses in a batting practice session as I’ve ever seen,” Girardi said. “And this is, guys know what’s coming.” Dan Brewer and Bradley Suttle were the hitters.

• Brian Anderson also threw a sim game this morning.

• Soriano threw 20 pitches and will throw one more live BP — or sim game, whatever you want to call it — before getting in a game. Girardi said there’s not yet a scheduled day for Mariano Rivera to face hitters.

• Bartolo Colon is scheduled for 50 pitches or three innings tonight against the Red Sox. “See if he can build off of what he did (in his first start),” Girardi said. “We’ve talked about Bartolo, his command is really good and has always been really good. His changeup, from now to when I used to face him, has gotten a lot better.”

• Russell Martin is making his first spring start at catcher, but Girardi said he doesn’t think the Yankees will need to ease him into the regular season. “I hope not,” Girardi said. “He has plenty of time to get in shape. You look at Russell, he’s a young guy. He’s used to playing every day. I’ll see how he feels tomorrow, and we’ll try to get him two days in a row some time coming up, not right away.”

• A.J. Burnett, Sergio Mitre, David Phelps and Hector Noesi threw sides today. For whatever it’s worth, Burnett threw his side to Montero.

• Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson did outfield drills as a group this afternoon, just the three of them.

• Dellin Betances said he couldn’t help but notice Manny Ramirez standing on deck yesterday when he struck out Evan Longoria. As a kid growing up, Betances played baseball for the same coach who once coached Ramirez, and Betances heard about him all the time. When he finally faced Ramirez, Betances missed with a 1-2 breaking ball but went right back to the same pitch for a called third strike.

Available pitchers tonight: Manny Banuelos, Pedro Feliciano, Mark Prior, Andy Sisco, Luis Ayala, Steve Garrison, Eric Wordekemper and Ryan Pope.

Scheduled to play off the bench: C Austin Romine, 1B Jorge Vazquez, 2B Ramiro Pena, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Brandon Laird, LF Jordan Parraz, CF Austin Krum, RF Justin Maxwell and DH Jesus Montero.

• Predictably, the Red Sox have not traveled with their lineup regulars.

Darnell McDonald RF
Ryan Kalish CF
Jed Lowrie 1B
Jason Varitek C
Daniel Nava DH
Josh Reddick LF
Yamaico Navarro 3B
Drew Sutton 2B
Jose Iglesias SS

Clay Buchholz

Associated Press photos




Sponsored by:





    Read The LoHud Yankees Blog on the go by navigating to the blog on your smartphone or mobile device's browser. No apps or downloads are required.


Place an ad

Call (914) 694-3581