Francisco Cervelli was pretty stunned yesterday. He said he woke up in the morning convinced his left foot was bruised and not broken — it was sore but not especially painful, there had been no significant swelling — but the news from the Yankees medical staff was a sobering reminder that spring training is not good for him.
Three of the past four years Cervelli’s been injured in spring training, always on or around his birthday, which is tomorrow. When he wasn’t hurt in spring of 2009, he was terribly sick leading up to the World Baseball Classic.
“I think I’m going to change my birthday,” he said.
Cervelli turns 25 tomorrow, and a lot of family flew into Tampa to celebrate. This was supposed to be a good weekend. Instead, Cervelli came hobbling into the Yankees clubhouse on crutches.
“A little sad yesterday,” Cervelli said. “But I talked to my mom. It’s good when I have my family here. Today’s different. I’m positive. A lot of people in the world, they don’t have legs, they don’t have arms. I’m healthy. I just have something in my foot, and it’s going to be OK.”
Is he confident his job will be waiting for him when the crutches are gone and the boot comes off?
“I hope, but if it’s not, I’ll fight again,” Cervelli said. “This is me. You have to fight every year for something. I’m not going to cry because somebody is going to take my job. No. I’m going to charge back.”
• Andrew Brackman faced hitters this morning. He threw roughly 30 pitches in the bullpen, then threw 25 to Austin Krum and Brandon Laird. “It was good,” Brackman said. “No problems.” He hopes to pitch in a game within a few days.
• Warner Madrigal also threw live BP this morning. Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren threw sides.
• A lot of former Yankees roaming around in the Nationals clubhouse. Chad Gaudin is starting for Washington. He’ll be pitching to Ivan Rodriguez, with Jerry Hairston Jr. playing center field. Alberto Gonzalez is on the Nationals bench. Former Yankees Chien-Ming Wang and Tyler Clippard are in camp with Washington but didn’t make the trip.
• Scheduled to play off the bench: C Austin Romine, 1B Brandon Laird, 2B Kevin Russo, SS Doug Bernier, 3B Brad Suttle, LF Justin Maxwell, CF Melky Mesa, RF Colin Curtis, DH Greg Golson
• Available out of the bullpen: Joba Chamberlain, Dave Robertson, Romulo Sanchez, Ryan Pope, Robert Fish, Steve Garrison, Daniel Turpen, David Phelps and D.J. Mitchell
• Tomorrow’s travelers today: The Yankees have a road game against the Astros in Kissimmee tomorrow. Phil Hughes starts for the Yankees, Brett Myers for Houston.
Pitchers who are making the trip: Brian Anderson, Steve Garrison, Phil Hughes, D.J. Mitchell, Hector Noesi, David Phelps, Andy Sisco, Adam Warren and Eric Wordekemper
Position players who are not making the trip: Francisco Cervelli, Jorge Posada, Austin Romine, Ronnie Belliard, Ramiro Pena, Jorge Vazquez, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher
The best of what’s left • 12.21.10
The remaining free agent market is rich in two areas: Designated hitters and relief pitchers. The Yankees have no need for a DH, but I could see them dipping into that relief market one more time before spring training. Here’s my 25-man roster using only remaining free agents. It’s a stretch to say the least.
Johnny Damon, CF
Edgar Renteria, SS
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jim Thome, DH
Vladimir Guerrero, RF
Manny Ramirez, LF
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Bengie Molina, C
Cristian Guzman, 2B
I’ve decided to punt on outfield defense. This is probably the worst defensive outfield ever assembled, so I’ll just hope that everything is hit to third base.
Scott Podsednik, OF
Derrek Lee, 1B
Jerry Hairston Jr., UT
Josh Bard, C
Is it bad that a left fielder is my defensive replacement in center?
Obviously I don’t want anything hit in the air, so I’ll roll the dice with Webb’s sinker in the No. 5 spot. Let’s face it, a lot of things are going to have to right for this team anyway. As for who gets the nod for the No. 1 spot in the rotation, I think I know my audience.
I figure I’ll need someone who can throw more than one inning at a time, so I’ll take shot on Penny in the bullpen. Added bonus: It might keep him healthy.
Other teams are actually doing stuff • 12.13.10
Believe it or not, as we approach the end of Day 4 of the Cliff Lee Watch, other teams are actually making small moves here and there. Don’t they know nothing else is supposed to be happening right now?
• Hideki Matsui is on the verge of a one-year deal with the Athletics. That lineup needs some sort of pop, and Matsui looks like their everyday designated hitter.
• Dustin Moseley has finalized his $900,000 deal with the Padres. Great signing for him, and probably a good one for San Diego. Despite what the linked AP story says, Moseley did not spend, “the previous four seasons in the Los Angeles Angels.” That’s wrong on many levels.
• Apparently my friend Marc Carig didn’t get the memo about Yankees reporters asking nothing but Cliff Lee questions until Lee signs. Marc reports that the Yankees have checked on Jerry Hairston Jr.
• Buried in this story from Ken Rosenthal is a note that the Dodgers might consider Bill Hall for their everyday left field job. I’ve never really bought Hall as a legitimate option for the Yankees, and an everyday opportunity in Los Angeles would make Hall even less likely for the Yankees.
• Baseball America has updated its minor league transactions, including a few familiar names: David Winfree signed with the Diamondbacks, Brian Bruney signed with the White Sox, Omir Santos signed with the Tigers, and Wilkin de la Rosa signed with the Dodgers.
• Speaking of the Bruney signing, who was the winner of last winter’s Bruney trade? I’d say the Dodgers, because they lost Jamie Hoffmann a team that was never going to keep him. The Yankees finished somewhere in the middle, if only because they didn’t have to pay Bruney. Washington lost. Definitely.