Just before the Yankees started a team meeting, Francisco Cervelli met with the media outside the spring clubhouse this morning. The topic of discussion was his connection to Biogenesis and Anthony Bosch.
“When I got my foot injured in 2011, I checked with doctors and somebody recommended me Biogenesis,” Cervelli said. “I went there for maybe suggestions, and that’s it. I walked away without nothing in my hands. I just went there, talked and that’s it.”
Biogensis is the Miami clinic that allegedly helped Alex Rodriguez and other athletes obtain performance enhancing drugs. Cervelli’s name was found in the clinic’s handwritten records.
A few natural questions to get out of the way.
Did Rodriguez recommend or discuss Biogenesis? “No, never” Cervelli said.
Did Cervelli’s former agency, the Levinson Brothers, recommend it? “No.”
Did any other player recommend Biogenesis? “No, no players.”
Did Cervelli get any treatment at all from Bosch or Biogensis. “No.”
Did Cervelli have an associate get anything from the clinic? “No.”
Did Biogenesis suggest Cervelli use performance enhancing drugs? “No.”
Has Cervelli ever used performance enhancing drugs? “No.”
“Like I told you guys, somebody recommend me that (clinic),” Cervelli said. “I went there, I asked questions, I walked away with nothing in my hand. Right now, I realize that maybe it was a mistake to go there, but it already happened, so what can I do?”
Cervelli wouldn’t say who made the recommendation, but he said it wasn’t another player, wasn’t anyone associated with his former agency, and wasn’t anyone who’s name has been connected to Biogenesis in published reports. Asked why he left the Levinson brothers, Cervelli said it was because the agency had a lot of catchers and that made him uncomfortable. Cervelli said he hasn’t heard from Major League Baseball regarding their investigation, but he’s willing to talk to them at any point.
Cervelli said he went to Biogenesis only once, and he did meet with Bosch during that visit. He said they only talked about the foot injury and no treatment was given. He said he met and spoke with several doctors, including some back in Venezuela.
“Sometimes when we’ve got injuries, we get a little desperate to come back quick and we always want a second opinion,” Cervelli said. “I went there. Somebody told me. That’s it.”
• The Yankees are about to take the field for their first spring workout. Only pitchers and catchers are at Steinbrenner Field right now, so today’s workout — and workouts for the next few days — will be fairly light. Catchers will do some batting practice and defensive drills; pitchers will throw bullpens and go through PFP. Things don’t really pick up until position players show up.
• Mariano Rivera is here. He was given permission to arrive a day late (imagine that) and is scheduled to throw a bullpen today. He made small talk with reporters in the clubhouse this morning, but he hasn’t officially spoken about his knee or his future plans. That might happen later today.
• Dave Robertson has been moved to the locker right next to Rivera (that’s where Rafael Soriano was the last two years). It was suggested that Robertson moving down the line to be so close to Rivera is an indication that he’s the heir to closer’s role. Robertson said he it was simply an indication that he’s going to be picked on this spring.
• Today’s bullpens (with the catchers assigned to catch each pitcher):
Phil Hughes (Cervelli), Hiroki Kuroda (Stewart), Andy Pettitte (Romine), Mariano Rivera (Murphy)
David Aardsma (Wilson), Tom Kahnle (Higashioka), Jim Miller (Gary Sanchez), Zach Nuding (Arcia), Clay Rapada (Murphy)
Juan Cedeno (Stewart), Vidal Nuno (Cervelli), Ryan Pope (Romine), Matt Tracy (Sanchez)
• Today’s batting practice groups:
Francisco Arcia, Kyle Higashioka, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez
Francisco Cervelli, J.R. Murphy, Chris Stewart, Bobby Wilson
Associated Press photos