The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Video: Cervelli stays calm to improve his throwing

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 04, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Taboola Home/Section Front Player

It’s been three months since Russell Martin signed with the Pirates, and since then, the Yankees most significant development at catcher just might be Francisco Cervelli’s rediscovery of how to throw the ball. Three weeks into spring training, Cervelli’s arm is the one thing that stands out in the much-discussed competition for the starting catcher job.

“Right now, this is the best I have seen him throw,” bench coach Tony Pena said.

The video above is of Pena putting Cervelli through a standard throwing drill. Pena said some instructors like to have catchers focus on footwork without actually making throws — just receive a pitch, pop out of the crouch and get into position to throw to second — but Pena said he’s found that mechanics are never quite right without the throw itself. Catchers think they’re popping into a good throwing position, but it’s not exact unless there’s an actual throw involved.

For Cervelli, these sort of drills started this offseason with catching coordinator Julio Mosquera, who helped Cervelli regain some of the polish that he showed when he first got to the big leagues.

“I came in (this spring), I saw what he was doing and I said, ‘You’re good!’” Pena said. “Then we just added little things and just keep on doing it every single day, day in and day out. … Whenever a catcher loses that feel for throwing, when a catcher is lost, they stay there for a while. They stay there for a long time. I was just so happy to see him capable to throw the way he used to throw the ball.”

Cervelli is 5-for-6 throwing out base runners this spring. He was 9-for-14 during winter ball. Considering Joe Girardi’s preference for defensive catchers, Cervelli’s numbers are impossible to ignore, and based on little more than gut feeling, they seem to have made Cervelli the early favorite for the job.

“He isn’t trying to be so quick,” Pena said. “Obviously, catchers, we have a tendency to be quick. (Cervelli) has a great arm. He doesn’t have to be that quick. Now he’s more calm. He’s in a better position to throw the ball.”





45 Responses to “Video: Cervelli stays calm to improve his throwing”

  1. tomingeorgia March 4th, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    “We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”
    Winston Churchill

  2. PacoDooley March 4th, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I see these Cervelli stories and can’t help but think that the link to the Bosch clinic is not a coincidence. He was horrible when he was demoted and had that burn to return with a vengeance. Sounds like Melky when he was cut loose by Atlanta…

  3. Doreen March 4th, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Except he visited the clinic after he got hurt in a different season to try to heal faster, not after he got demoted to AAA last spring.

  4. yanksfan7788 March 4th, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Tony still looks like he can gun down a runner or two.

  5. blake March 4th, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    blake says:
    March 4, 2013 at 6:38 pm
    @RiverAveBlues: Nova working on new arm action in camp

    Don’t know if that’ll help his deception….but it could make his delivery more repeatable and that’s good….his delivery and arm action were very long last year…..which gives guys longer to see the ball

  6. blake March 4th, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    blake says:
    March 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm
    If anyone should be helped by the system it’s our vets….great cause and great job by Cashman….the Yankees do this stuff as well as any organization in all of sports

  7. blake March 4th, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I’m pulling for Cervelli….felt like he got somewhat of a raw deal last spring (especially the way it was handled) and I commend him for making it a positive and working his tail off to try and prove them wrong….. If his throwing is real then he’s the starter because clearly he’s the best offensive option

  8. UnKnown March 4th, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Those eyes look like they are coming back to the Bronx for this season.

  9. Jerkface March 4th, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Here is a link to a GIF showing the new arm action for Nova, does look a bit shorter. I hope this helps him get over the hump he had last season.

  10. blake March 4th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Shorter arm action may help him repeat better but hopefully also will give hitters a little less time yonder the ball…..guys shouldn’t hit him as had as they do with his stuff

  11. blake March 4th, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks for the link JF….I didn’t notice it the other day but slowed down you can see it….hope it helps

  12. MTU March 4th, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Young pitchers take time and effort to develop.

    When they have the makeup and stuff that Nova has they should not be given up on too soon.

    Most do not step right out of the womb ready to take the mound and excel.

    As Cashman is so fond of saying, “It’s a process.”


  13. tomingeorgia March 4th, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Yonder the ball? blake, your spell correction gets better and better. Lets hope Zoological yonders a few.

  14. randy l. March 4th, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    it makes no sense that girardi and pena were watching cervelli go into a throwing slump right before their eyes for two years, and then somehow came out of it with no help from them.
    girardi and pena are supposed to be catching experts.

    what were they doing for two years?

    it seriously makes no sense unless they both are players who could throw themselves but can’t teach.
    if so why are they a coach and manager ?
    it’s just very weird that someone else fixed cervelli. it does not say much about girardi’s and oena’s ability to judge and coach catchers.

  15. blake March 4th, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I really should proofread my posts but I’m lazy and I usually don’t have time ….yonder is a good one

  16. blake March 4th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    “what were they doing for two years?”

    Playing Stewie instead

  17. jacksquat March 4th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Against All Odds March 4th, 2013 at 2:53 pm
    Chip March 4th, 2013 at 2:50 pm
    I wonder if Joba walks up to Cashman, shakes his head and calls him a dumbass.


    lol he probably chuckled when he read it though. But Cash is doing it for charity

    And doesn’t need his ankle to do his job.

  18. dayglo March 4th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    It’s a good thing if Stewart can be pitch-hit in the later innings and then Cerv can be bought in without losing too much on defense…

  19. blake March 4th, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    @pgammo: Jimmy Rollins to Giancarlo Stanton:”You cannot be real. You cannot be human.” Stanton heard it all day at the USA workout.

  20. Rich in NJ March 4th, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Stanton is just the kind of young star that the NYY need as Jeter inevitably transitions to Yankee ownership.

  21. Nilsson March 4th, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Cashman’s injury is one of the top stories on the ESPN feed. So it’s making the rounds. I figure why not make a small donation to it. It’s a very good cause. Plus there’s no candlelight vigil after this ankle injury. Always a win win.

  22. MTU March 4th, 2013 at 7:15 pm


    Does make you wonder.

    Many things the Yankees do make me wonder.

    But then again, it is in my nature to wonder.


  23. blake March 4th, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Giancarlo might be available this summer or winter….depends on how bad thing are really between he and ownership…..his value will never be higher and it’s unlikely they can sign him

  24. MTU March 4th, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    I am truly sorry to hear about Cashman’s injuries.

    They are quite serious and very painful I would imagine.

    Gonna take a while to heal.

    I appreciate the fact that he was also doing what he did for a humanitarian cause.

    That definitely counts for something in my book.

    I hope he heals quickly and well.

  25. Rich in NJ March 4th, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    I can accept whatever happened in the past with the Cervelli and his development as long as he starts the majority of games now so he can get better. If Stewart does instead, it’s just one more reason to doubt the management’s competency.

  26. randy l. March 4th, 2013 at 7:22 pm


    so what did girardi and pena do ?

    just watch cervelli deteriorate right before their eyes and say” gee, cervelli sucks now”.

    didn’t it ever cross their mind that maybe he was rushing?

    they act like they were some sort of spectator watching it happen ,rather than coaching the kid.

    if girardi is this bad with judging and coaching cervelli on his throwing, no wonder he can’t see that gardner is a better center fielder than granderson.

  27. tomingeorgia March 4th, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Mr. MTU,
    .380 or 9mm, what’s in your wallet?

  28. MTU March 4th, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Mister Tom-

    I like the 9.

    If I were doing something now I’d go 40.


  29. tomingeorgia March 4th, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    The 40 is too big for the bride, 9 is fine, 380 is good too, 357 is mine.

  30. Against All Odds March 4th, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    jacksquat March 4th, 2013 at 7:08 pm
    Against All Odds March 4th, 2013 at 2:53 pm
    Chip March 4th, 2013 at 2:50 pm
    I wonder if Joba walks up to Cashman, shakes his head and calls him a dumbass.


    lol he probably chuckled when he read it though. But Cash is doing it for charity

    And doesn’t need his ankle to do his job.

  31. MTU March 4th, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Gotcha Tom.

    Was thinking we were talking you.


  32. dayglo March 4th, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    @randy wow you are 100% right. How could girardi & pena not have picked up that he was rushing his throws.. ?

  33. tomingeorgia March 4th, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Mister MTU,
    Do it, if you’d like.

  34. Pat M. March 4th, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Tin Cup, one of the things that I noticed over the past few years regarding Cervelli was how he fell in love with throwing the ball beyond the normal throws to second on steal attempts. How many times did he try to pick guys off from a squatting position as he’d throw across his body, his feet tangled up and his mechanics just went out the window. So it looks like he’s back to basics which sets up the foundation to making good throws. Now if they can get Bucky Dent into camp and work with Nuenz, as Bucky was so smooth and had outstanding feet. I used to marvel at how effortless he made things look when he was with Chicago.

  35. Giuseppe Franco March 4th, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I haven’t given Cashman much credit for anything he has done the last couple of seasons but props to him for putting his own neck on the line for great causes despite the obvious risks.

    I’m guessing he’s going to find other avenues to promote these charities next offseason and beyond.

  36. Tar March 4th, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I am really trying to think positive of Cashman here. But honestly I am having a hard time.

    Yes the Wounded Warrior Project is a great and worthy cause.

    But wasn’t this really about Cashman getting a free ride to skydive with The Golden Knights? I can’t help but think the Wounded Warrior Project was just a secondary consideration to make it all work.

    Consider this:

    “When the Golden Knights parachuted into Yankee Stadium last summer, they raised the opportunity and option of doing something. I went up to West Point and once we solidified the exhibition game with the Army, there are a lot of Army themes going on and a lot of conversations about doing a jump and jumping.”

    Was there any mention of doing something for the Wounded Warrior Project? No!

    It wasn’t like let’s find a way to raise awareness for the project so how about a jump. I would love it, if that was the case.

    No it was all about “doing a jump and jumping”. Sorry I can’t help but question his every move and motive. He did it to get a fee jump.

    So excuse me if I can’t get all worked up about Cashman getting a to jump with The Golden Knights, and oh by the way it’s for a good cause. Also his timing during the first week of ST is just awful. There was a better time to do this Brian.

    Bottom line is it did raise awareness, so that is great. But I am reluctant to give Brian credit for it. Am I wrong?

  37. arsenelupin3 March 4th, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Let the rumormongering commence:

  38. Rich in NJ March 4th, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    ^ I’ll take the under. IOW, not happening.

  39. Giuseppe Franco March 4th, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I tend not to think much of ‘anonymous sources’ but that would be one helluva sh!tstorm hitting the Bronx if it turned out to be true.

  40. Nilsson March 4th, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    arse, you’re a bit too early. April Fool’s isn’t till another month.

  41. Rich in NJ March 4th, 2013 at 8:56 pm


    Where is that from?

  42. Tar March 4th, 2013 at 9:00 pm


    It was posted here on Lohud and other places as well.

  43. blake March 4th, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Twitter can be a very dangerous toy

  44. Rich in NJ March 4th, 2013 at 9:24 pm


    Thanks. Maybe he had questionable motives, but it was still for a good cause.

    I think there is enough reason to get on him for the way he has received a pass despite being very average GM.

    So even if it’s ambiguous, I will give him credit for the jump because no matter what his true interests, it does benefit a very good cause.

  45. Tar March 4th, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Thanks Rich that’s a reasonable way to look at it.

Leave a comment below

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