Greetings, Brian Heyman back with you. It’s been a while. I’m here at Yankee Stadium today, tomorrow and Friday. Chad’s Ironman streak is over. I lost count of his consecutive-day record. Even Ripken eventually took a day off.
Here’s a guy who is on duty today as well: Meet your new Yankees first baseman, Francisco Cervelli. At least for the start of this game with lefty Wei-Yin Chen going for the Orioles.
So when was the last time the backup catcher played first? He said he was 15. But he has worked out at first occasionally.
“If I’ve got to pitch, I’ll go, too,” Cervelli said. “It’s not like I feel like I’m Mark Teixeira, but I think I’m going to be comfortable with more games. I think it’s like every other position. If I feel I’m not going to catch the ball, I’m going to block it.”
Sounds like a catcher playing first base. Joe Girardi called this move “low risk.”
“I really believe he can do it,” Girardi said. “I do. We’re going to find out.”
Girardi said the reward, if it works out, is “more flexibility during the course of the season. We don’t anticipate Tex being out very long, but you never know.”
Why no Brian McCann at first?
“I’ve seen Cervelli take ground balls and I like what I’ve seen,” Girardi said. “I’ve never seen Brian McCann take a ground ball.”
Girardi said Shawn Kelley will probably get much of the closing opportunities with David Robertson now officially on the DL with his groin strain. But Girardi also said Kelley will probably not be available today. If that’s the case, who would close if need be?
“That a good question?” Girardi said. “Let’s see where they are in the lineup.”
Robertson has been replaced on the roster by Cesar Cabral, up from Triple-A. The lefty had a strong spring training.
“We’re seeing some pretty tough left-handed hitters this week, and we feel he can help us,” Girardi said.
Photo by The Associated Press.