Aug
07

The great Francisco Cervelli rant

By

Oops. Photo Credit: AP Photo, Frank Franklin II

Francisco Cervelli isn’t supposed to be here, enjoying this much playing time. The weakest of the Yankees’ deep organizational corps of catcher, Cervelli has somehow caught 539 of the Yanks’ 958.1 innings this year. He isn’t hitting, and as a defensive specialist, his fielding has let him and the Yankees down. As a dinky pop up bounced off his glove and three unearned runs cost the Yanks the game last night, I had to wonder what exactly Cervelli was doing with so much playing time on a team with a $213 million payroll.

I don’t hold a grudge against Francisco Cervelli, the person. He’s a 24-year-old kid from Venezuela who clearly loves playing baseball as a career. He’s enthusiastic to a fault, and for a few weeks, he had a penchant for big hits. But he’s nothing more than a back-up catcher, but because Jorge Posada is a fragile 38, Cervelli has become the de facto starter, earning 56 percent of the team’s playing time and accruing far too many at-bats.

Coming up through the Yanks’ system, Cervelli never cracked the Yanks’ top 20 lists. The 2008 Baseball America Prospect Handbook has him at 23 and cites his “above average catch-and-throw skills.” After playing for Tampa, he had “impressed scouts with his toughness and ability to grind through the season.” Last year, he moved up to 21st and again, Baseball America praised his defense. “His defense is first-rate,” the book says, with a plus arm and above-average receiving and blocking skills.” His bat would never play as anything better than a back-up.

This year, half of this prediction is true. After his 1-for-3 performance last night, Cervelli is hitting .255/.328/.317 with absolutely no power. (Since the arbitrary date of May 18, he’s hitting under .200 with a .500 OPS in over 170 plate appearances.) His offensive value has him at 5.3 runs below average. As a back-up catcher, we could tolerate 100-150 plate appearances of Francisco Cervelli, but he’s now at 239 PAs. His playing time is in no danger of lessening any time soon.

The bigger problem right now is that Cervelli’s defensive prowess has fallen off the face of the earth. The botched pop-up last night was his seventh error of the season, and only Jason Kendall, with 300 more innings, has a higher error totals. The Yanks’ catchers now lead the AL with 13 errors on the year. He has allowed two passed balls while pitchers have thrown 22 wild pitches with him behind the dish. He’s also thrown out only seven of 44 would-be basestealers, and while much of that rests with the Yanks’ pitchers’ inability to hold runners on, Cervelli’s arm just hasn’t been as strong or as accurate as billed. That 16 percent rate is worst among all AL catchers with at least 300 innings caught. He’s fidgety behind the plate, and often lets his enthusiasm get in the way of framing pitchers and receiving the ball. Last night, he jumped up on a few pitches and may have cost the Yanks’ hurlers some called strikes.

In terms of overall value, Cervelli is still contributing positively to the team. Before last night, his WAR sat 0.5, but just a few weeks ago, he was a one-win player. As his numbers decline further, that total will continue to drop. Based on his strong April, he should be able to pull in a 0 or positive WAR value, but it’s not going to be much when the dust settles.

Meanwhile, the Yankees have turned to Cervelli on a regular basis this year. Due to age and nagging injuries, Jorge Posada just hasn’t been able to play much. He couldn’t — or Girardi didn’t want him to — catch last night, a night after an off day following a day game. At most, he’ll catch two of four games against the Red Sox, and the Yankees will replace Jorge’s bat — 10.6 runs above average — with Cervelli for a swing of nearly 15 runs. He has become the Melky Cabrera of 2010, an adequate bench player overrated by many and granted too much playing time.

With the Yankees’ financial clout, they shouldn’t be rolling out near-replacement players at any position. Even though there is a benefit to developing cost-controlled young players, the final piece of that equation concerns those players’ qualities. They must be good cost-controlled young players, and right now, Francisco Cervelli does not fit the bill. If the Yankees cannot trust Jorge Posada to catch three out of four games against the Red Sox, the team absolutely needs someone better than Cervelli, and right now, that’s not going to happen.

So what, then, were the Yankees to do? The list of free agent catchers following the 2009 season was sparse. The team wasn’t going to bring back Jose Molina. The Ivan Rodriguez Experience was one no one wanted to relive, and he — along with Rod Barajas, Benjie Molina and Gregg Zaun — wanted to start. They could have thrown good money after so-so players, but they went with Cervelli instead. It is a decision that’s backfired.

As the season plays out, I’ll have to come to terms with Cervelli. Despite last night’s game, when he didn’t take charge of a pop-up and his pitcher couldn’t take charge, Cervelli isn’t going to make or break a season. But with Jesus Montero knocking on the door, the Yankees aren’t going to stick with Cervelli much beyond October. He’s a constant reminder that the team still hasn’t yet figured out how to put together an adequate bench, and his ample playing time is a constant reminder that the Yankees buried their collective heads in the sand over Jorge Posada’s age and potential health problems. They didn’t plan accordingly, and we’re stuck with Cervelli.

Categories : Rants
  • http://twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

    I’ve been waiting all day for this.

    • joeytime

      i second that…. he’s a AAA backup, get him off this elite squad and reward Jesus for his recent good play… who is with him?

      • whozat

        No, bringing up Jesus is also a bad idea.

        • joeytime

          Care to explain?

          • Sweet Dick Willie

            He’s 20 years old, and it took him nearly 300 ABs to get his OPS above .800 at AAA. No need to expose him to ML pitching at this point.

          • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

            If everyone is complaining about Cervelli’s defense, Montero’s is going to be so much worse. And the chances of him coming up right now and hitting even league average are slim.

            No need to pull another Joba.

            • Tabata31

              HAHA sort of like Austin Jackson not being able to play in the bigs because he strikes out too much and the Yankees would be better off trading for a player in decline.

              I’ve been a NY fan all my life and 95% of you “fans” are afraid of change. Montero is figuring it out and doing it while DH a lot of nights. What benefit is it for the yankees to keep him down there while we are searching for answers now? I know why so we can move him in the offseason for an aging player while we can look in the 2011 box scores and see Montero kicking AZZ

              • Scarlet Speedster

                He’s 20 years old and needed a serious adjustment period to catch up to AAA hitting, bringing him up would actually be a bit of detriment to his development. Why not just wait until we feel he’s ready (both on offense and defense), then bring him up.

                But that’s too much sense for you, AZZ-man.

  • Kyle

    Couldn’t agree more with this article. There is no argument if his defense is top notch. IT IS FAR FROM IT.

  • All Star Carl

    Jesus save us…

    • http://twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      I’m beginning to wonder if calling him up to replace Cervelli wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all……

      • Sweet Dick Willie

        Yes, it would.

    • joeytime

      I’m telling you right now, Jesus Montero would be a better DH than Lance Berkamn at this point… Lance looks like a pitch hitter at best right now… (i know its a extremely small sample size but i’m going off of body language as well…) Jesus gives us a spot start catcher with jorge and DH with serious pop that the league doesn’t have a book on…

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        The problem with this is expecting Montero to come up and instantly dominate, when it took him a while to adjust to AAA pitching, so much so that people panicked and wanted him put back in AA.

        • joeytime

          Nobody is saying he would “instantly dominate” however this team needs some right handed pop, and a replacement for Francisco would be welcome, and getting Jesus some pennant race experience is priceless for his development…

          • Sweet Dick Willie

            He’s 20 years old. It’s entirely possible that calling him up at this point would be detrimental to his development.

      • Big Juan

        (i know its a extremely small sample size but i’m going off of body language as well…)

        Well then, I’m convinced.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          Vazquez looks scared.

          - Mr. Sparkle

        • Tabata31

          because a lot of these “yankee fans” don’t even know that Cisco never got above AA and hit .180 there

          • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

            I love how you came and commented on a post bashing Cervelli, where no one has said anything nice about Cervelli, and are accusing people of…..liking Cervelli?

            • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

              This was meant as a reply to Tabata31. I guess you can’t reply to the reply of a deleted comment.

              • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

                Yikes.

          • MikeD

            Not quite true. He hit .260 in AA, with a .362 OBP. Overall in the minors, he hit .273 with a .367 OBP. So far in the majors he’s a .264 hitter. He’s fine as a back-up catcher. Unfortunately he’s caught more innings than any catcher in 2010, which means he hasn’t been the back-up catcher. That’s the problem.

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        I don’t see how giving Jesus a “spot start” at catcher would help much with Cervelli. Frankly, despite all the egregious fail in this post, I think the worst part is that it’s pretty much off topic.

        • joeytime

          Well by spot start I means start a few days a week… cervelli is a AAA catcher, nothing more so your FAIL is trying help someone who can’t be helped.
          As fr being off topic, it’s really not considering mentioning berkman and dh applies directly to Montero and reinforced why he’s needed (for a spark at a position DH that has been dead all year) as well as the fact he can catch.. YOU FAIL

      • dc1874

        Berkman starting to look like Richie Sexton part 2!!

        • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

          Its been SIX games.

      • Pete

        what’s wrong with being a “pitch hitter”? isn’t that the point?

  • Rod

    I’m pretty sure that the Yankees have at least four catchers in the system that would be more valuable right now.

    • Rod

      Probably more than that depending on your opinion of PJ “Crash Davis” Pilitier (sp?)

      • boogie down

        Close — it’s Pilittere.

  • Not Tank the Frank

    I completely agree with the last paragraph. This is more of an indictment of the Yankees front office than it is of Cervelli. Francisco Cervelli is what he is and I’m surprised a few extremely lucky months were enought to sway their opinion and convince the Yankees that he was an adequate backup (bordering on replacement) of Posada.

  • The Ingenue

    I find it fascinating that this article comes so quickly after this one: http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....der-33269/. The real problem with seems to be that Posada is not ageless.

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      So you’re saying Posada is at fault here for being a human being?

    • whozat

      Being even the player he is at the age he’s at, having been a catcher for all these seasons makes him ageless. Obviously, not literally, but in the common usage of the word, he is.

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

    I agree. This issue is about posada and it always has been. If i pop Cervelli on the bench and let him play 1, maybe 2, times a week there isn’t going to be an issue. But as you note ben he’s really the starting catcher on this team because of posada’s injury stuff and age.

    And with that in mind, we are getting to a point now where Cisco’s just not going to cut it if Posada isn’t going to play but 4 times a week. You getting nothing offensively and lately your not getting much defensively.

    With that said, if i can just tread water, so to speak, until September when the rosters expand and get another catcher i should be alright. maybe i give Jesus a looksie then.

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      My main concern isn’t so much that Cervelli is getting playing time during the regular season. That’s bad enough, but something to deal with. If Girardi went with Molina in the playoffs when Posada was presumably healthy, what’s going to happen this year?

  • Slappy White

    Great article. I think last years team was so good that it made it easy for the front office to stand pat with regards to the back up catching position. They should have made it a priority with the concerns about Posadas durability. They certainly did nothing else during the offseason to help the bench

    • Zack

      “They certainly did nothing else during the offseason to help the bench”
      Thames and Winn? Obviously Winn is gone, but you can’t say Cashman didn’t do anything.

      • Slappy White

        Thames and Winn < Hairston and Hinske…..not even close, come on

        • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

          It’s been said, I dunno, a thousand times, but I’ll say it again. Hinske and Hairston wanted more playing time than the Yankees could give them.

          • Slappy White

            Im just saying that last years bench was far superior to this years. When you have to use a guy who only hits leftys and cant field, and a guy who was released as examples , it kinda proves the point

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            That.

            I know we offered Hairston a deal, but he turned it down to take more playing time from San Diego. They obviously weren’t sellers at the deadline.

            Hinske, I’m not sure we offered him a deal but he’s a lefty. We needed righty pop off the bench, hence Thames. And while he’s definitely a very solid bench player, no one could’ve really seen his awesome year coming.

  • nsalem

    My opinion is that the more that Posada catches the greater the chance is of him re injuring himself. This is true for anybody to a degree, but in Jorge’s case it is at an extremely high level. A long term injury for Jorge would be devastating to Yankee chances this year. Yanks have to find a way to get him to October healthy. Finding a short term alternative for the remainder of 2010 may be the wise thing to do.

  • Tabata31

    Ok I got an idea…..why not call up Montero for a few weeks and see what he can do behind the dish? I know people want him to have a full season catching in AAA but we need some pop in the lineup when Jorge sits. Cisco the kid is a younger Jose Molina (Jose probably has a better bat if thats even possible) I think if given the chance Montero would thrive. I’m sick of hearing Montero’s TERRIBLE behind the plate. It’s not like we have Johnny Bench back there now anyway. I would gladly sacrifice some D for some big time power….any thoughts????

    • camilo gerardo

      I’d love it if Jesus would get the call. He wouldn’t necessarily be overwhelmed with the same PT that cervelli is getting now, catching ~4/7 games. in all likelihood, he probably hits better than Berkman for teh remainder as well

      only problem is it potentially ruins ROY, which would be fun for him to take, as a fanatico.

      • Pete

        do you honestly believe that Jesus Montero would hit better than Berkman the rest of the way? If they called up Jesus now, he’d probably finish the year with something like a .240/.310/.360 line. Berkman’s still OBPing like .370. I’d be VERY surprised if Jesus can get his OBP that high without a solid 300-400 ABs worth of MLB acclimatization first.

  • Not Tank the Frank

    I’m seriously confused as to why anyone would think (or want) Montero should be brought up. His defense is – by all accounts – below average at the minor league level. He’s only begun to start hitting at Triple-A over the last 6-8 weeks. Now he’s ready for the big leagues?

    I don’t understand why anyone would think the Yankees would call up this 20-year-old kid and throw him behind the plate twice a week to catch a staff of major league veterans during the last few weeks of a pennant race. This seems to me to be the ultimate case of rushing a prospect to the majors. Maybe that’s just my opinion…

    • Pete

      Completely agree. It’s the same thing that happened with Hughes, Kennedy, and Joba, when people got all pissed off when they weren’t performing. Here’s the truth: young players suck, at least for a little while. Every once in a LONG while a player comes along who plays well out of the gate, but most players suck for a bit. There’s no reason to believe that Jesus would be any different.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    Yeah, I can’t disagree with this, even if I find the hostility a bit caustic; yeah, Cervelli isn’t very good, but it’s more the team’s fault for his playing time than his. The team needs to get a better backup for next year, considering Posada’s age/injury concerns. It’s easy now to complain about letting Molina go because he’s actually having a nice year, but no one minded letting him go and keeping Cervelli to be the backup in the offseason.

    I dunno what the solution is, because who knows if any FA C will want to sign knowing they’ll pretty much be backups. If Montero keeps up his hot streak, I don’t think I’d be terribly opposed to having him be one of the backup C next year (unless there’s some really obvious reason why he shouldn’t?).

    If nothing else, at least his suckiness of late has stopped the POSADA IS THE WORSTEST PLAY CERVELLI EVERY DAY shit.

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      I think part of the reason people were OK with Cervelli being the backup is because they assumed his defense would be at least adequate. Obviously anyone who assumed this (including myself) was completely wrong.

  • All Star Carl

    Girardi intends to stick with catching rotation: Cervelli to catch Javy and AJ, Posada to catch the rest. But DH duties to Berkman.

    Girardi is clueless.

    • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

      Good God.

    • camilo gerardo

      partly agree. they are veterans for a reason; Ride ‘em!!

    • Zack

      Because playing your 38 year old catcher 5-6 days a week is a better idea?

      • All Star Carl

        No. The problem is Javy and AJ having a personal catcher.

        • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

          a personal catcher who can’t hit and has played crappy defense.

          I really don’t care if folks have a personal catcher…but the catcher has to either play good defense or hit. i can’t sacrifice both.

          • Zack

            But Cervelli was going to play 2-3 a week anyways.
            So if Cervelli helps AJ get back on track, then have Cervelli catch his starts.

            • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

              I don’t really care who catchers AJ as long as they either hit a little or play good defense. Cisco is doing neither right now.

              and to be honest, I’m not a big fan of Girardi flat out telling folks Cisco is AJ’s personal catcher either…just brings up the whole AJ/Posada mess again.

              • Zack

                Oh trust me I hate Cervelli, he’s great for 30 games a year, not 80. But he’s your only option.

                And when did the AJ/Posada mess go away?

                • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

                  well i hadn’t heard much of posada/AJ for a while.

      • http://twitter.com/j_yankees j_Yankees

        no i agree. The point is though part of this “rotation” has played crappy defense and is a zero bat. He has little to no vlaue. You have to find something better if this rotation is the way you’re going to go.

    • BigBlueAL

      I just saw Marc Carig tweet this too. Absolutely insane. If Posada can only handle 60% of the catching load for rest of the regular season (which is understandable) they really should look into acquiring a better backup catcher immediately.

      • BigBlueAL

        What is even worse is you are having your worst hitting catcher behind the plate for your 2 worst starting pitchers when offense will most likely be needed more too.

      • Zack

        Impossible to get a better back up.

        Boston would claim any catcher on a 1 year deal.
        And would you claim Kendall/Navarro/I-Rod/Schneider for 2011 too?

        • BigBlueAL

          Yeah brain fart, forgot it is after July 31st already. As Ben said Cervelli like it or not will be the backup rest of this season unfortunately.

  • http://twitter.com/themanchine Bruno *The Manchine*

    This is why I wanted Miguel Olivo instead of Nick Johnson. Hip-Hip to DH, w Olivo’s stellar D and career ~.400slg

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      Olivo also has a career .285 OBP, which is repulsive. Yeah, you can point out this year, but have you seen his splits away from Coors? They are not pretty:

      http://www.baseball-reference......;t=b#hmvis

      • http://twitter.com/themanchine Bruno *The Manchine*

        I never said he’d get on base a lot. Just play stellar D, be DURABLE, and at least slug well.
        Olivo or Cervelli? Olivo hands down, right?

        • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

          C) None of the above

    • http://twitter.com/themanchine Bruno *The Manchine*

      Plus, if Hip-Hip takes NJ/Berkman’s roster spot next yr w Cervelli as the backup C and a legitimate starting C, the Jorge enables them of having a defatco emergency C AND the benefit of helping the communication w whoever is the C and the P’s.

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        Why not just have Jorge be the backup catcher and DH most days when he’s not catching? Why do we need Cervelli at all (under the assumption of getting a “legit catcher”)

  • http://riveraveblues sandy g

    not only is girardi clueless but cashman is also clueless.i watch berkman bat and my mother has more bat speed than berkman and she is dead.berkman seems to be a nice guy but his days are numbered.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK’s Mystique and Aura

      For what it’s worth, I think it’s clear that Berkman is in decline (and I’m frankly someone bearish on him) but my mother disagrees with you. And she can really swing a bat!

      Also, your comment is kind of off topic.

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        I can’t believe how quickly the Berkman hate has started. I know there’s plenty of impatient (trying to be as nice as possible) Yankee fans, but it’s been 6 freaking games.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          How is telling people to be patient over less than 20 ABs “riding his jock”?

  • ZZ

    The Yankees are not bringing up a 20 year old in the middle of a pennant race to play one of the most important and demanding positions on the field. The pitchers and him and vice versa have no familiarity with each other whatsoever.

    Especially when that 20 year has serious questions surrounding him about whether he can stick to the position.

    Yes he can be worse that Cervelli and Posada defensively. He can be A LOT worse.

    I don’t know if Montero can stick at catcher or not, but people need to realize that there are players who simply cannot hack it back there and testing this out in a pennant race would be a terrible decision.

    The Yankees just need to get by and make sure Posada is healthy for the playoffs when he will be catching every game.

    Catchers take a beating on a nightly basis. It could be his age catching up with him or it could not. He simply could just be a catcher that has gotten beat up this year. Does a foul ball off his foot making him go on the DL mean he was too old to get out of the way or something?

    They can reevaluate in the offseason, but getting a quality backup is never easy for the Yankees. If they are good enough to play in this lineup 2-3 times a week, they are good enough to start on a myriad of teams.

    It really is not an indictment of how the Yankees build their benches. It is just the reality of the situation and what people’s expectations are for these bench players.

    They will probably have to strike fast and really overpay if they want a backup people find acceptable.

    • Ivan

      Solid points there.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      +1

      “I don’t know if Montero can stick at catcher or not, but people need to realize that there are players who simply cannot hack it back there and testing this out in a pennant race would be a terrible decision.”

      I think the Yankees let you know what they think about Montero sticking behind the plate by their willingness to include him in trades recently.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        I think the Yankees let you know what they think about Montero sticking behind the plate by their willingness to include him in trades recently.

        It’s been said a million times but including him in hypothetical trades for Lee and Halladay, elite-elite pitchers, isn’t some sign of the Yankees desperately trying to get rid of Montero.

        • Not Tank the Frank

          Never once in my post can it be even remotely implied that the Yankees were “desparetly” trying to get rid of Montero. But I think it speaks to whether or not they believe he has any future behind the plate…which unfortunately it doesn’t look like he does.

          • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

            Gotcha. And I kind of agree, but if the bat really is as good as we’ve all heard, he’s worth keeping around anyway. Not that I think anyone is untouchable for the right deal.

            • Not Tank the Frank

              Yeah don’t get me wrong I love Montero (I bend and bob). I was opposed to the Cliff Lee deal.

              I think the main point that’s getting lost is that Montero doesn’t seem to have much of a future behind the plate. That’s just according to everything I’ve read. If someone can show me a scout or writer who thinks otherwise I would love to read it (and I’m not being sarcastic).

              • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                Yeah don’t get me wrong I love Montero (I bend and bob)

                Oh lord as much as the original comment set my teeth on edge please let this become a meme.

                And I agree with you. It’s not just calling games, I think there’s a lot to pitcher defense that we don’t really know. Whenever people say “it couldn’t be worse” I have to think that yeah, it probably could. And agreed re: wanting to find any articles where people say his defense is at least okay.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK’s Mystique and Aura

      As Ivan said, some really solid points here. It’s possible Montero could be defensively a lot worse (but what measurements we’d use would be fairly arbitrary and crude), but if nothing else, he’d offer a much, much better bat than Cervelli. Does that necessarily make it the right move? I’m not sure, but at this stage Cervelli really doesn’t offer any value. He’s –at least now– far below average in every facet of the game. You’re hedging the risk that Montero’s bat + poor defense would still be an upgrade over Cervelli’s bat + poor-but-likely-better defense.

      I’m not sure I buy too much into the “pitchers aren’t familiar with the catcher; it would be a disaster” ideas. You may be right, but Cervelli came up lat year in May then didn’t really play again until September. Maybe those 10 starts (a few were subs) made a big difference, but I doubt it. I think people make too much of the familiarity factor, or we simply can’t know what impact it has. I don’t disagree that some pitchers may be more comfortable with certain catchers and familiarity certainly helps a relationship. But catchers are traded around the deadline to new teams. I haven’t heard rumblings about that.

      I agree with most of your points; and I think you may be right that Montero’s defense could be a more serious issue than I and many others think. But he at least offers some value, and I think that value would be greater than what you’d lose in defense and the pitcher comfort.

      Just my three cents. Sorry I rambled.

  • Ivan

    This is tough spot here. You want to give Posada as many AB’s as possible which DH certainly helps there, however more AB’s for Posada at DH means more AB’s for Cerveli. Now you can put Posada back at catcher full time but then he’s old and more prone to injury. (not to mention an open spot in DH to a weaker hitter although that weaker DH hitter>>>>Cerveli)

    The easy choice would to say hey lets bring up Montero up, however, you better play him almost everyday to see what you have, not to mention his defense isn’t all that good either and he’s only 20 years who just started to hit just over a month ago.

    I think the Yankees took the safe choice rather the better (and risky) choice in concern with Posada DH more times than not and Cerveli having more AB’s than expected at C. Did it backfire yeah, however, I don’t know if you can really fault the yankees on that decision.

    Personally, I would take the risk and Bring Montero and see what he can do but that just me.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK’s Mystique and Aura

    I still stand by my article that Chris Snyder and Dan Haren for Joba, ManBan, Z-Pac (Z-Mac) and Nova would have been worth it. But whatevs.

    Also, I absolutely loathe Cervelli. I hope he and Pena come down with Conor Jackson Syndrome (that weird fever he caught last year – Oregon Trail Fever or something like that) and up come Nunez and Montero.

    Dreaming away…

    • ZZ

      Snyder is due to make $6.5 million next year including a buyout for 2012.

      You simply cannot pay a backup catcher $6.5 million.

      • Zack

        He wouldn’t be a backup.
        Posada would DH

        • ZZ

          Chris Snyder starting at catcher for the Yankees?

          No thanks.

          There will be many great Chris Snyder rants under that scenario.

          • Zack

            Ok. Start 39 year old Posada, and then you’ll have Cervelli/Blanco/Barajas catchign 100 games next season.

            • ZZ

              That is interesting that you are able to peg the number of games Posada will catch next year while simultaneously already knowing who the backup options will be and how many games they will catch as well.

              The Yankees are not bringing in Chris Synder to start at catcher. That’s a terrible idea.

              Not mention having to give up prospects to acquire him.

              • Zack

                Posada is 39 next year, you think he’s going to catch 80 games?

                Chris Snyder: Career OPS of .734, Career 30% CS
                Full time catchers with OPS above .734 this year: 3
                McCann, Mauer, Suzuki

                (The prospects were for Haren, not Snyder. Snyder was a salary dump)

                • ZZ

                  The Yankees thrive on positional advantages.

                  They are not putting Chris Synder and his bat at catcher to move Jorge to DH full time.

                  That just completely takes away one of the main advantages they have had for more than a decade.

                  The reason they are stocking up on catchers is so they don’t have to put subpar players like Chris Synder at catcher.

                  I stated above I wouldn’t call him up in a pennant race, but at worst Montero can catch something like 20-30 games next year.

                  I am not sure how many games Posada will catch next year. I am at the bottom of the list of people making a big deal about this because of his age.

                  People jump to age far too quickly and arbitrarily without actually looking at the circumstances of performance and injuries.

                  Putting a player like Chris Synder as a starting catcher for this team is extremely unlikely to even be in the realm of possibilities unless Posada goes down with a season ending injury.

                  • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK’s Mystique and Aura

                    Obviously they’re not going to, seeing as Snyder has already switched teams. That’s not the argument.

                    For what it’s worth, Chris Snyder is not a subpar player. And it’s not just Jorge’s age that’s a concern, it’s the trend that he hasn’t caught as many games, a result of both injuries and age. No one is looking at this in a vacuum.

                    Francisco Cervelli playing at catcher is not a positional advantage, no matter how you slice it.

                  • Zack

                    Oh, interesting that you are able to peg the number of games Montero will catch next year, while simultaneously already knowing that he won’t be traded.

                    If Chris Snyder is a subpar player, please list me the full time catchers in the game that are not subpar.

                  • ZZ

                    I wasn’t guaranteeing Montero will play 20-30 games next year.

                    I was stating that at worst if he was still on the team.

                    I don’t know where you people are getting it from that Chris Synder is a starting catcher.

                    The most games he has ever played in his career is 115. He has cracked 400 at bats ONCE.

                    He puts up his numbers (average numbers at that) in limited playing time.

                    He is a good backup catcher on a good team and a very expensive one at that.

                    You absolutely cannot include Synder in the category of full time catchers, because he has never proven to be one.

                    Seeing his numbers as a REAL full time catcher in the AL East would be fun.

                    The same people on here hating Cervelli would be destroying him.

                    It is simply not even remotely a good or realistic idea especially when Posada is still under contract next year.

                    • ZZ

                      And I was accidentally looking at PA’s not AB’s.

                      His career high at bats in a season is 334.

                      Posada who you people are writing off as DH is even going to pass that this year with all his injuries.

                    • Zack

                      When I said starting catcher, I was excluding guys like Napoli/Vmart/Posada who get a lot of their ABs at either 1B or DH.

                      Ok he doesn’t catch 150 games a year, but calling him a back up isn’t correct either. Back up is 20-30 games a year.

                      The point of getting Snyder was as a 1 year insurance so Posada can move to DH to improve his chances of staying healthy, not rushing a 20 year old who may not be ready yet, and eliminates Cervelli from catching a majority of games.

                      I don’t get how Snyder would get more hate than Cervelli. You can’t possible sit there and say you’d rather see Cervelli play 80 games than Snyder play 80 games.

                    • ZZ

                      There is no way you could possibly justify as a good allocation of resources $6.5 million to Chris Synder unless he is your full time catcher.

                      That is why saying well he is better than Cervelli should not even be considered.

                    • Zack

                      “The Yankees thrive on positional advantages.”
                      The Yankees thrive on financial advantages.

                      Snyder to catch 100 games, move Posada to a position where his chances of staying healthy are improved, not havng Cervelli catch 80 games, and allowing Montero time to learn catching = jusitification for 6.5m

                      They signed NJ for 5m last year, did anyone think they were getting 130 games from him? No.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK’s Mystique and Aura

          Yup. The upgrade is Snyder and his solid OBP, SLG and defense over Cervelli, who could have been traded along with the others, which would have had Arizona eat more of Snyder’s salary. Of course, they seem to strangely think wins are the most thorough way to evaluate the quality of a player, so maybe that makes too much sense.

          • Zack

            Cash should have offered Ace; double digit wins from a reliever? Their new GM would do cartwheels after acquiring him.

    • Ellis

      You “absolutely loathe” Cervelli?

      Anger, fear, aggression: the dark side of the force are they.

      You have to admit he’s fun to watch play, I love his enthusiasm. I could understand saying “Yeah we could really use an offensive boost behind the plate,” but I’ll never understand the personal hatred.

      • http://itsaboutthemoney.net/ Brien Jackson

        *You have to admit he’s fun to watch play, *

        No, I most certainly do not have to admit any such thing.

  • Tabata31

    I really don’t understand why some of you are so against calling up Montero to get a taste of the big leagues right now. Posada was never a good defensive catcher and what made him special was because he could HIT. I’m not saying Jesus will be great when he gets up here but could it be any worse then Cisco throwing balls into RF or drop pop ups and walking after the ball letting runners advance? And its not like Frankie is throwing runners out either. Montero has been good for the past 6-8 weeks and he does ALOT of DHing in AAA so its not like he would lose all this great experience from catching every single day in AAA. Yes he is very young and yes he has flaws but are you telling me calling up Chad Moeller is a better option? Also Montero has almost a full year of AAA under his belt and Frank was called up from Trenton while hitting .180 so call me crazy but I think Jesus is a little further along then he was last year

    • joeytime

      @ Tabata31
      I’m with you 100% of the way man. People find ways to complain about anything, be it good or bad… its a shame but thats the way some people are..
      Montero should get the call, its more evident now than ever…

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        This is a joke right?

        People find ways to complain about anything, be it good or bad… its a shame but thats the way some people are..

        You: “Lance looks like a pitch hitter at best right now… (i know its a extremely small sample size but i’m going off of body language as well…) “

        Your first point is spot on. It really is a shame.

        • rbizzler

          Wow, a gay joke! You guys are teh awesomest.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          There’s no need for this shit, dude. Really. For one thing, homophobia’s not cool. Secondly, how’d you feel if someone said you were like this about Montero?

          • Poopy Pants

            reply button, please.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      “Montero has been good for the past 6-8 weeks”

      Really? This is your argument? This should be all you need to know right there. An 8 week hot streak in Triple-A by a 20-year-old kid doesn’t mean he’s all of a sudden miraculously able to handle major league pitching.

      And defense is more about passed balls and throwing out runners. If there’s one thing Cervelli has been able to do it’s establish a good repore behind the plate with this pitching staff. Throwing Montero behind there could potentially cause a lot of problems and the proper time to do it certainly is not down the stretch in September.

      • Tabata31

        Are u telling me that Sabathia would have a hard time throwing to a 20yr old? A 161 million dollar pitcher needs Johnny Bench back there making the calls? I guess you need to read the info below high speed,

        The bigger problem right now is that Cervelli’s defensive prowess has fallen off the face of the earth. The botched pop-up last night was his seventh error of the season, and only Jason Kendall, with 300 more innings, has a higher error totals. The Yanks’ catchers now lead the AL with 13 errors on the year. He has allowed two passed balls while pitchers have thrown 22 wild pitches with him behind the dish. He’s also thrown out only seven of 44 would-be basestealers, and while much of that rests with the Yanks’ pitchers’ inability to hold runners on, Cervelli’s arm just hasn’t been as strong or as accurate as billed. That 16 percent rate is worst among all AL catchers with at least 300 innings caught. He’s fidgety behind the plate, and often lets his enthusiasm get in the way of framing pitchers and receiving the ball. Last night, he jumped up on a few pitches and may have cost the Yanks’ hurlers some called strikes.

        • Not Tank the Frank

          See, I think you are making my point for me. You cite Cervelli’s defensive struggles and yet by all accounts Montero’s defense is behind Cervelli’s. And that doesn’t even take into consideration that Montero is a DEVELOPING prospect behind the plate. He’s not major league ready because he hasn’t developed some of the necessary skills required to be a catcher. He’s 20 years old! In fact, it was only at the beginning of this season that the Yankees had him working with his footwork in order to transfer the ball quicker. He’s a project defensively…even when it comes to receiving the ball.

          Now I’m not necessarily worried about CC but there is a reason why pitchers carry personal catchers. Some pitchers simply feel more comfortable with a certain catcher. Now I can’t predict what will happen should the Yankees pitching staff begin to throw to Montero but I’m of the opinion that his lack of experience could be a detriment to a team that could be trying to win the AL East during the last series of the season.

          And as for his offense, we all think he could potentially be a once-in-a-generation bat, but a six week hot streak in Triple-A doesn’t mean he’s ready to come to the bigs and set the league on fire. I love Montero and want to see him succeed. I just don’t see the value in rushing a prospect to the majors of his caliber to the majors when he’s not ready.

          And he’s clearly not ready in my opinion.

  • Tabata31

    I just love all the EXPERTS who think bringing up JESUS right now is a terrible idea. I’m guessing these are the same doubters who were so against bring up AUSTIN JACKSON last year because he wasn’t close to being MLB ready and he was so young/ 1st yr in AAA. Maybe we shouldn’t give Montero a chance and trade him away for some 29+ year old catcher because he hits .220 but is a solid defender. Sorta like we did with A. Jackson/Granderson. Yankee fans need to wake up and finally see the declining skills of our CORE players. We need some young blood injected to this team with HIGH talent ceilings around and not the Frankies and Penas of the world

    • joeytime

      Amen brother!!! Points are so on point!

      • rbizzler

        Wow, you guys are soooo right. I like, totally can’t believe how smart you are.

        Let’s call up Jesus AND Gary Sanchez (I just heard of him too!11!)so they can rotate turns behind the plate and at DH.

        Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      No you’re the expert. Jesus is ready! You said so!

      And please use the reply button and don’t post the same topic three separate times.

      • Tabata31

        I would like to hear some reasons of why Montero coming up is a terrible idea instead of cool guys comments from Not Tank the Frank & rbizzler. I’m shocked you 2 even know who Gary Sanchez is. Maybe you should get Cashmans job because you seem to have all the answers. ….Fools

        • rbizzler

          You are the one claiming to have all of the answers.

          Speaking of fools, you are the one who wants to call up the 20 year-old catcher with limited defensive skills, who has only been hitting in AAA for the last 2 months and toss him into the fire in a pennant race.

          Then, if he fails you will be the first one to call him a bust and want him included in some asinine hypothetical trade proposal for Grienke or Lincecum.

          • Not Tank the Frank

            This.

    • t

      This is actually a really solid point. People were afraid of calling AJax up and look at how he is performing now at the MLB level. I do think Montero is a bit different as hes behind the plate and a bit younger but the point remains. The Yankees refused to call AJax up until 2011. Detroit decided to pull the trigger and he has been solid. There is something to be said for development but remember, he is DHing alot at AAA so he isn’t going to lose a lot of catching experience by being called up.

      • rbizzler

        oh noes, now there are three of them!

    • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

      OK, its NICE that you can USE hindsight to make whatever point you WANT. But AusTIN JAckson had a worse year in AAA last year than he had in the majors this YEAR. Nobody (including you) could HAVE predicted he’d have such A good year.

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        Not that his year has even been particularly good.

      • Tabata31

        HAHA you fool..jackson hit .300 with 24 SB, 65Rbis, 151 hits and had a OBP of 354…yeah he was terrible

  • Pat D

    Who would have thought we’d miss Jose Molina this much. Yea, we know he can’t really hit, but we wouldn’t have been worrying about his defense.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      Hindsight is fun.

      (Not meant to be hostile to you)

  • Tabata31

    Joeytime….right on brother. I’m sick of hearing the Montero hype…I want to see it first hand!!!

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      See the “reply” button? You should utilize it.

      • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

        I’d rather he didn’t. The “Tabata31″ and “joeytime” bro-fest is really infesting this thread with uh, well less than genius ideas.

        • Not Tank the Frank

          Hahaha bro-fest. Good stuff.

        • rbizzler

          …more gay jokes.

          You guys are wicked cool, dude/guy/hey.

        • Brooklyn Ed

          its MOUTH. moth is an insect. if you gonna insult someone, at least spell it right.

          /spelling failed.

        • http://twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

          Probably the same person

          • Tabata31

            keyboard warriors.. I love it! You know you idiots are 1000% correct we should just keep what we got or keep talking about Chris Snyder and how great he is. And you both are spot on. Everyone would much rather have Granderson in CF instead of a 23 yr old speedy CF. Get an idea of what you are talking about before you try to turn this into a tuff guy competition.

            • Pete

              Granderson >>>>> Jackson.

              • Brian

                Granderson >>>>> Jackson.

                Granderson .246 10 33 .312 .427
                Jackson .307 1 25 .355 .411

                Not sure what match class you went to but your conclusion doesn’t add up.

                One guy is a lead off hitter and the other hits 7th or 8th.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          A schlong in a moth? How would that even work?

          • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

            Obviously Lance Berkman has a small schlong since he SUX SO MUC

  • Longtimefan

    Cervelli is doing better than most backups. Lets not forget he didn’t throw the pitch in the 6th for a 2 run hr. Vazques is no shining star and could never pitch well on the big stage. Montero is not ready for prime time and is no defenseive wiz. On another topic
    it is time for Berkman to step-up or be labeled another one of Cashman’s follies!

    • Zack

      But most back ups don’t play this much, that’s the problem.

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        That.

        Also, Longtimefan, your rants about “Vazques” and Cashman/Berkman don’t really belong here.

  • Hughesus Christo

    Cervelli is bad, obviously, but it’s okay as long as he’s actually backing up come October.

    The bigger problem is Girardi’s love affair with the guy. I thought we had gotten past this garbage once Torre left. I don’t need Andy Philllips 2.0

  • Poopy Pants

    With a $200 million dollar budget (or is it even higher) and an old starting catcher with health (and defensive) issues, how can they NOT have a decent backup catcher? It’s amazing to me.

    At least they picked up another DH that can’t hit (outside of BP).

  • Poopy Pants

    Any analysis on Moeller’s defensive abilities? How good/bad is he?

  • jspec

    harsh! I thought he was the darling of the team?

  • Amol

    To be fair to the front office, it’s hard to imagine how you could anticipate Cervelli being this bad defensively. His performance prior to this year indicated that he would be brilliant defensively this season, and that’s really all you can ask of a backup.

  • Pete

    To those who advocate for the callup of Jesus Montero:

    Montero is 20 years old, has less than a full season at AAA under his belt, is by all reports a well-below average defensive catcher, and has only hit for half the season at the AAA level. The jump from AAA to MLB in terms of pitching is MUCH bigger than that from AA to AAA, and it took Jesus almost three months to start hitting there. Why on earth would you think that it would take him less time to adjust at the MLB level? You’d wind up with a guy who produces next to nothing offensively while sucking defensively. Essentially Cervelli, minus the ok baserunning.

    The reason it’s semi-ok to have cervelli on the roster (it really would have been nice to get a real backup catcher, but i’m talking about in terms of having him over Montero) is that Cervelli is not a prospect. He is not some guy who we need to take our time with to develop right and make sure he maximizes his talent or something like that. He is who he is. Montero, on the other hand, IS a prospect, and needs to be developed as such. This means A) getting as many reps as possible behind the plate at AAA where it won’t hurt the MLB club, and B) getting enough time at the AAA level to adjust to the pitching there before having to jump up another level.

    Could Montero figure it out at the MLB level without further AAA seasoning (offensively anyway)? Probably. But more likely than not, it would take him a VERY long time. Better hitters than Jesus have taken a year or two to start hitting at the major league level, and that’s with more time in the minors. Very few players start to hit well in the majors before they’re 22/23/24. Jesus is 20. And what’s more, it’s not like he’s got nothing left to prove at the AAA level. His current line stands at .272/.349/.460, which is nothing spectacular, especially at AAA. Sure, he’s been hitting very well for 6+ weeks, but that doesn’t take away the fact that he spent even more time than that being quite terrible offensively. It’s not something anybody should be worried about long-term, but it does seem a little ridiculous to expect him to hit well at the major league level after 4 months at AAA and over a 2 month period.

    The minor league season ends in a month. Let him come up then and get a cup of coffee in september, when he couldn’t be doing better things than riding the MLB bench.

  • Mike in Sunrise

    What people fail to get about Montero is he is not your average prospect that got signed at 21 years old out of college, or for that matter at 18 out of high school. This guy signed at 16 years old and moved to a foreign country. He has nearly 4 years in the system, which he has dominated for every year but this year and he is coming on lately. We would not destroy him by bringing him up. He is not your average 20 year old.

  • RockinMuttley

    Call up Montero to the Major League, Not a good Idea. I rather have defensives catcher over a catcher who is defensively horrible. Cervelli is having a sophomore Jinx slop right now. Don’t forget he had a wrist injury back in the spring training in 2008 which prevent it him develop power that he needs as a hitter. He going to turn things around come September you’ll see. Next season, Cervelli is going to have better season offensively and defensively. He’s going to better as a player in the future. I have a feeling next season, he going to need to work 10 times hard than he has before, because he’s probable going to catch about 70-80 games. I still have faith in Cervelli no matter what happens in the future and I hope it will be a good one.

  • MikeD

    I “love” the swing of emotions on players. Early on, people were calling for Cervelli to take over as the everyday catcher. He is what he is. A back-up catcher and he can serve that role fine. Unfortunately, as happened with Molina, he’s playing way too much, and when that happens, weaknesses become more obvious. As for his defensive problems, passed balls, wild pitches, high SB rate, it’s entirely possible this is the problem of the Yankee pitchers and no back-up catcher would solve this.

  • Pete C.

    Cervelli’s playing more because Girardi’s trying to keep Posada as healthy as possible, for a stretch run. Managers have been trying to make the best of a bad situation every season for 100 years.
    I don’t know if anyone’s said this yet, but they are in first, and can on any given night right now, beat handily any team in both leagues, missing Jorge and Arod.
    Sabathia is amazing, let’s hope the correct AJ shows up tonight.

  • Brian

    Only in the land of Yankee fans is their a debate about the back up catcher. The Yanks would be best served in getting rid of Posada and spending big money on a starting catcher than spending 2 to 5 million on an aging back up catcher. Cervelli is only getting the time he has received because Posada can’t stay healthy and last yr Molina was injured for over a month. Cervelli hasn’t played great this year but neither has Posada and he is the problem. $13 million for a guy who can’t play 100 games anymore was a risky contract that is keeping the Yanks from making moves behind the plate. Looking at next yr the Yanks need to make Posada the full time DH and not re-sign at the end of the next year. Montero and Cervelli should be fine handling the catching as the Yanks have been fine dealing with below avg defense out of that position since 2005.