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Pregame notes: Cervelli feels “new again”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcast on Apr 29, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

A baseball clubhouse is a much happier place with Francisco Cervelli is in it. Gustavo Molina seems like a perfectly nice guy, and he did a nice job in his limited role this month, but Cervelli showed up with hugs for every player and clubhouse attendant in sight.

“I’m new again,” he said. “Just, I’m excited to be here, that’s it. When you get here you don’t feel anything.”

Joe Girardi said he plans to have Cervelli behind the plate on Sunday. That’s a day game after a late-afternoon game, and that matches Cervelli with Ivan Nova instead of A.J. Burnett, who pitches tomorrow. Cervelli and Burnett have worked together in the past, and Girardi said he wouldn’t be opposed to putting those two together again if the schedule begins to fall that way.

“You wait and see how days fall,” Girardi said “But they’ve worked well together and it’s something that I might keep.”

As for Cervelli, he worked extra hard this offseason in anticipation of a fight for the backup catcher role. He wound up winning it with only five spring at-bats, the same number as Kyle Higashioka. Clearly the Yankees are comforted by Cervelli’s experience and familiarity.

Cervelli said the worst part of these past few weeks — nearly two months, really — has been all the time spent on his couch. “I think I’m too hyper,” he said. The sitting around drove him crazy, but he said he used that time to watch video. He watched some catching videos, but he mostly watched video of his pitchers, and he tried to watch every Yankees game.

“When I get to spring training I never feel comfortable, like I’ve got my spot on the team or something like that,” he said. “I always want to play like a rookie, and my whole career I have to fight for everything. I don’t think there’s a time to be comfortable and sit on the couch and think you’ve got something. Right now, it’s the same thing. I’m going to be ready because a lot of things can happen.”

Here’s Cervelli.

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• To make room on the roster, Molina was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

• Brett Gardner is a career .444/.545/.889 against Ricky Romero, and Girardi said Gardner’s success against the Blue Jays starter was the most significant factor in the decision to keep Jorge Posada on the bench today. “Gardy’s had some success off of Ricky Romero and swung the bat well last night,” Girardi said. “We want to keep him going.”

• Girardi didn’t mention it, but Posada is a career .200/.200/.267 hitter against Romero. Then again, Jones has just one hit in nine at-bats against Romero.

• The Yankees are in a stretch of 32 games in 33 days, and Girardi indicated that this won’t be the last time Posada is replaced at designated hitter. He specifically mentioned Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher as players who might get a DH day to stay fresh.

• Mark Teixeira said his shoulder is still a little sore, but nothing like it was yesterday or the day before. “I think I strained the front part of it,” he said. “When you strain something like that, the whole shoulder just locks down. That’s why it was so stiff and tough to swing at all. It’s feeling a lot better.” Teixeira said he never had any tests. “No reason to,” he said.

• If there’s a ball that requires him to dive tonight, Teixeira said he won’t hesitate. “I throw my body around a lot,” he said. “I weigh 225 pounds. Sometimes when you land on hard dirt or on bases or run into walls or whatever it may be, sometimes you get bruised up. But I’m not going to change the way I play.”

• I still haven’t seen Phil Hughes since the announcement that he’s going to see a vascular specialist in St. Louis, but Girardi said Hughes is the same as ever. “He’s good,” Girardi said. “He’s basically going to go to St. Louis on Monday and he’s just waiting to have his test. I’m sure he’s wondering what’s exactly going on. As I said, Phil is a pretty calm guy and his personality to me doesn’t seem to be a lot different.”

• The usual stuff about tonight’s starter Freddy Garcia: “I’ve said all along, Freddy just knows how to compete and that’s what he goes out and does,” Girardi said. “He finds a way to get it done. He’s clever. He’s able to read swings and has an idea of exactly what he wants to do.”

• By the way, it’s stunning just how much stuff a catcher brings with him to the ballpark. While Cervelli was moving into his locker, people just kept carrying in bags and boxes full of bats and gear and equipment. There was stuff everywhere.

BLUE JAYS
Rajai Davis CF
Yunel Escobar SS
Jose Bautista RF
Adam Lind 1B
Juan Rivera LF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
David Cooper DH
J.P. Arencibia C
John McDonald 2B

Associated Press photos

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54 Responses to “Pregame notes: Cervelli feels “new again””

  1. upstate kate April 29th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Cervelli too hyper? Who would have thought that?

  2. Ys Guy April 29th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    i just want to point out that i predicted 3 starts for molina before the 1st game and the downers on here told me i was way off.

    looking forward to this weekend, i think the bats are gonna continue where they left off last night! im benching romero on the team i have him on. and starting gardner on the teams i added him to last night!

    Let’s Go Yankees!

  3. Warning Track Power April 29th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Thrilled to see Cevi is back on the team.
    Much better player vs Gustavo. The team just improved as a whole with his addition.

  4. stuckey99 April 29th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    MTU,

    Yankees were 2 games under on May 13th in 2009.

    They won 103.

    Not THAT hard.

  5. Ys Guy April 29th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    i’m hoping we’ll see the ‘good defensive’ cervelli we were expecting when he came up instead of the defense we saw from him last season. i dont really care if he hits any, for me a b/u catcher has to handle the pitching staff and keep the running game in check. we’ve got plenty of actual hitters to provide offense.

  6. stuckey99 April 29th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    “i just want to point out that i predicted 3 starts for molina before the 1st game and the downers on here told me i was way off.”

    They often are, they just never learn from their mistakes.

  7. GreenBeret7 April 29th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    why don’t you post all of the predictions you made that had you falling flat on your face?

  8. mick April 29th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    # mick April 29th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    # MTU April 29th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Gb-

    Good. Then I hope they keep it up. You don’t become a 50 hr. hitter
    that late in a career. I don’t buy it. I think he’s on something.
    =======================
    Et tu Colon?

  9. David in Cal April 29th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Sad to say, but the use of Andruw as DH is a reminder of how little value Posada brings to the team this year. Without Posada, they could use as DH: Chavez, Jones, Montero, or some resting regular: ARod, Jeter, Tex, Cano, etc. In short, without Posada, the team would be virtually as strong as it is with him. I hate to point this out, because I love Posada, but as a pure DH he just doesn’t add that much.

  10. West Coast Yankee Fan April 29th, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    We may be seeing the fading away of a great Yankee in Jorge Posada. I see no way he returns next year; and now Girardi is starting to sit him. A bit sad – but so it goes.

  11. BoJo April 29th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Ys Guy April 29th, 2011 at 5:34 pm
    _________
    3 starts?!?! Were you crazy?!?!?

    :-)

  12. Jerkface April 29th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Mtu posting from my phone but google it. Gardy doesn’t like lirianos approach, the twins were pissed that he didn’t do his exercises in offseason.

  13. Ghost of Steinbrenner April 29th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Cervelli has youthful exhuberance. The yanks will be more loose tonight. Posadas at the point he is hurting the team.

  14. stuckey99 April 29th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    “Except, I haven’t asked you any questions??”

    “How does Soriano’s performance relate?”

    Thanks, but I recognize a question when I see one.

    Salmon is a good source of Omega-3′s fyi.

    “I am not here nor do I have any interest in babysitting or walking you through basic human emotion and motivation.”

    Then the complaining about my lack of basic human emotion and understanding of motivation should cease from this point forward, right?

    That’s sarcasm, btw. We both know it won’t.

  15. Ghost of Steinbrenner April 29th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    I failed to mention that i love posada but……

  16. joeman April 29th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    # GreenBeret7 April 29th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    why don’t you post all of the predictions you made that had you falling flat on your face?

  17. mick April 29th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Interesting he plays gardy v a lefty to get jones in for po from the right side.
    This says he rather have gardy v a lefty than po righty.

  18. LGY April 29th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    “Thanks, but I recognize a question when I see one.”

    ———–

    Except you said I asked you questions to further some agenda.

    You are the one who brought up Soriano so I don’t see how I could possibly have an agenda by asking you how that relates.

    So sorry, that doesn’t fly.

  19. Ys Guy April 29th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    posada will either hit or lose his dh spot, i think it was perfectly fair for the yankees to bring him back and they gave him the starting job. and they have given him plenty of ab’s and will continue to. i think jorge will pull out of his slump but if he doesnt, he moves back to being a pinch hitter and occasional dh.
    i never thought there was much chance of him coming back next year, and right now it looks like its not gonna happen. but he will continue to get chances to contribute and likely will.

    hip hip jorge!

  20. LGY April 29th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Then the complaining about my lack of basic human emotion and understanding of motivation should cease from this point forward, right?

    That’s sarcasm, btw. We both know it won’t.

    —————–

    It won’t.

    But your failure to recognize how me mocking you differs from taking the time to explain human emotion/motivation to you exactly proves my point.

  21. upstate kate April 29th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Or it could say that Jones usually plays against lefties and since GGBG is finally hitting, Girardi doesn’t want to bench him.
    It could also say that since the Jays are a free swinging club, Girardi would rather have GGBG in for defensive purposes.

  22. mick April 29th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Po might have to have his head looked into for concussion damage/
    Most likely they will find nothing but it’s worth a try.
    Hey they did the same for Phil and found something wrong.

  23. mick April 29th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Or it could say that Jones usually plays against lefties and since GGBG is finally hitting, Girardi doesn’t want to bench him.
    ==========
    Jorge not hitting might have something to do with it.
    At this point Jones is the better hitter than Po.
    This could be the start of a DH platoon.

  24. BoJo April 29th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    mick April 29th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Po might have to have his head looked into for concussion damage/
    Most likely they will find nothing but it’s worth a try.
    Hey they did the same for Phil and found something wrong.
    ===============
    IIRC,he didn’t do well on his last series of tests, which prompted the move to DH. {ersonally, I fear he is going to have trouble coming back from the concussioms

  25. mick April 29th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Po is on a short leash. He is taking AB’s away from Chavez and Jones who could platoon at DH.
    Next will be Montero.

  26. upstate kate April 29th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Could be, I am just not ready to write Po off after one month. It has to be a big adjustment from being totally involved in the game to spending most of your time sitting on the bench.

  27. Warning Track Power April 29th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    David in Cal April 29th, 2011 at 5:45 pm
    Sad to say, but the use of Andruw as DH is a reminder of how little value Posada brings to the team this year. Without Posada, they could use as DH: Chavez, Jones, Montero, or some resting regular: ARod, Jeter, Tex, Cano, etc. In short, without Posada, the team would be virtually as strong as it is with him. I hate to point this out, because I love Posada, but as a pure DH he just doesn’t add that much.
    ******************************************************************
    I disagree. Having Jones on the roster only adds to the bench depth.
    Posada is NOT going to play DH for 162 games. Maybe if he were 30 yrs old, but not at 40.
    So on the days he needs a day off or two, insert someone like Jones vs a lefty starter in the DH spot.
    Posada is a positive asset to the team.
    Just because his batting avg is so low at this point in the season does not mean his value has gone down significantly.

  28. mick April 29th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Po’s next step could be to the DL , which could be best for him and the team.

  29. Erin April 29th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Joe Girardi said he plans to have Cervelli behind the plate on Sunday. That’s a day game after a late-afternoon game, and that matches Cervelli with Ivan Nova instead of A.J. Burnett, who pitches tomorrow

    ***************************
    OK, I have to brag for a minute and say that I called this. See my 12:24 post from today for proof ;)

  30. mick April 29th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    It has to be a big adjustment from being totally involved in the game to spending most of your time sitting on the bench.
    ===================
    That has the ring of truth to it but there comes a time you might have to draw a line. If it’s injury related or not.

  31. BoJo April 29th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Erin April 29th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    OK, I have to brag for a minute and say that I called this.
    ++++++++++
    What did you call it?

  32. upstate kate April 29th, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Yes you did Erin and it makes perfect sense. AJ and Martin have been a good match up so far, so why change that. It will be easier on Cisco not to have to catch the occasionally wild AJ on his first game back.

  33. mick April 29th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    I disagree. Having Jones on the roster only adds to the bench depth.
    =========================
    If Posada were DLed, they would bring up Golson or the other new guy as the 4th OF and Jones /Chavez would get the DH.

  34. mick April 29th, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    It seems to make sense that if Jorge can’t catch due to head trauma that concentrating at the plate might be a problem also, not to mention 95 mph fastballs.

  35. BoJo April 29th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I’m trying to recall a player that came back 100% after severe concussions (which the tests indicated Posada had IIRC). Paul Blair and others were never the same. Tony C had one good year a few years later…I can’t recall any of top of head.

  36. stuckey99 April 29th, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    “Except you said I asked you questions to further some agenda.”

    Fine. I’ll be clearer.

    When you refuse to answer questions, and come up with all manner of reasons why you won’t, then ask questions of the same person, it comes off as self-serving.

  37. stuckey99 April 29th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    “Stuckey, why are you confusing sample size patience with narrative storytelling??”

    All pieces of a bigger picture JF (not your strength, I know).

    I think people who express impatience over small sample sizes must in some way not really comprehend the game to any great degree.

    I haven’t come up with a better explanation how people can make the same mistakes years after year after year.

    It’s like all the things they witnessed before added or affected NOTHING of their overall comprehension.

    “Also find it funny you handwave chemistry in football ”

    I did not.

    I handwaved personal regard for players and patience that just isn’t practical in what’s essentially a season-long play-off tournament.

  38. GreenBeret7 April 29th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Conigliaro’s had nothing to do with concussions. It had to do with deteriorating eye-sight and depth perception.

  39. stuckey99 April 29th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Nice night in the minors.

    Brackman and Betances both going.

  40. Joe from Long Island April 29th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    1. Just caught a bit of the pregame. Didn’t catch his first name, but Cooper, the Toronto DH tonight, will be making his ML debut. He will face an old veteran, Freddy Garcia. You gotta love baseball.

    2. I hope none of you guys making predictions based on three and half weeks of baseball aren’t investment advisors.

  41. GreenBeret7 April 29th, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Mike Matheny and Juston Morneau

  42. Tom in N.J. April 29th, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    Why does everything seem to turn into some sort of weird ontological argument around here?

  43. Jerkface April 29th, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Stuckey you’re confusing your terms then if that’s not what you meant since you are suggesting that human storytelling in baseball involves chemistry factors we can’t quantify then saying football is all about production.

  44. DaSaint007 April 29th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Glad to see Cervelli back.

    Posada could use a pick me up. Maybe have him catch 1 or 2 games a month in addition to DH duties. At least start the game and Cervelli can finish.

    Keeping fingers crossed for Hughes, but my wife says that once she heard the possible diagnosis, that typically surgery to either remove or chip away at a rib to relieve the pressure on the blood vessel is necessary, and there’s no way he pitches this season if that’s the case.

    Pitching aside, good to see bats come alive last night.

    Go Garcia!

  45. CompassRosy April 29th, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Hey Yankee fans ~

    My M’s could use a little of the old “aura and mystique” behind them this weekend….
    Can I get a few hearty “Go Mariners!”?

    :-)

  46. blake April 29th, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Go Mariners!

  47. joeman April 29th, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    # GreenBeret7 April 29th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Conigliaro’s had nothing to do with concussions. It had to do with deteriorating eye-sight and depth perception.
    ——————————————-
    thats the truth

  48. Niblick April 29th, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    All of this Posada hating is downright sickening. None of you ragging on him are true Yankee fans. You’re frontrunners with very very short memories. Get a life.

  49. blake April 29th, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I think some folks around here didn’t get their fill of debate club in school :)

  50. Tom in N.J. April 29th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Where are the Mariners going?

  51. MG April 29th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Niblick April 29th, 2011 at 6:58 pm
    All of this Posada hating is downright sickening. None of you ragging on him are true Yankee fans. You’re frontrunners with very very short memories. Get a life.
    —————————-
    Amen.

    Anyone who thinks Jorge isn’t the one most frustrated by his slump and isn’t working his butt off to try to fix it just hasn’t been watching the Yankees since the mid ’90s.

    And if he decides he can’t hit consistently he will be the first one to call it quits, just the way Griffey Jr did last year.

  52. joeman April 29th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    # Niblick April 29th, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    All of this Posada hating is downright sickening. None of you ragging on him are true Yankee fans. You’re frontrunners with very very short memories. Get a life.
    —————————
    no matter I will never hate Jorge

  53. Jerkface April 29th, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Ontariological arguments are only fitting given our opponents.

  54. Ys Guy April 29th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Let’s Go Yankees!

    Hip Hip Jorge!

    i smell a win here…

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