Cervelli out at least four weeks with broken foot

Vernon Wells would have accepted trade to New York
March 4th Spring Training Notes
(AP Photo/Rob Carr)

The Yankees have announced that Frankie Cervelli has a fractured bone in his left foot and will be in a boot and unable to perform baseball activities for the next four weeks. Six-to-eight weeks is the realistic timetable for when he’ll be able to return to the team. Cervelli suffered the injury when he fouled a ball off the top of the foot earlier this week. He stayed in that game for another inning but was eventually lifted.

Joe Girardi told reporters that the competition for the backup catcher’s job is wide open right now, but the plan is for Jorge Posada to remain at DH according to Bryan Hoch. Girardi has “no plans” of starting Jorge behind the plate in any games this month. This really opens the door for Jesus Montero, who has to be considered the favorite to backup Russell Martin at this point. I’d be in favor of that. Austin Romine and Gustavo Molina will be given long looks as well.

This is the third time in four years that Cervelli’s been hurt in Spring Training. He had his wrist broken in that infamous home plate collision with Elliot Johnson in 2008, and last year he was hit in the head by a pitch, resulting in a concussion. That’s what brought about the Rick Moranis helmet.

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Vernon Wells would have accepted trade to New York
March 4th Spring Training Notes
  • Cy Pettitte

    awesome?

    bring on the Jesus

    • Will

      It’s been a few years since I’ve read the Bible, but does this make Cervelli John the Baptist?

      • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz

        Win.

  • http://www.richardiurilli.com Richard Iurilli

    Serious question: Would the Yankees be better off signing a backup catcher and keeping Montero down to add the extra year of team control?

    • C-Mac

      No. Besides, they have gustavo molina if they want an absolutely terrible veteran.

    • Jerkface

      Its not worth signing a catcher for 20 days. They would be better off just having Posada be the backup for 20 days.

      • Big Apple

        agree, jerkface.

      • Ted Nelson

        Yeah, that’s true. Posada is probably the best option if they want to keep Jesus in AAA.

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

        Normally I’d say sure, but with the concussion thing… you don’t mess around with head injuries.

        • Midland TX

          Unfortunately I think you’re right.

          Obviously nobody’s worried about Montero’s bat. But let’s talk about gamecalling and staff management. Once you get past C.C. and Hughes, you have an inconsistent headcase, a rookie who has shown signs of trouble getting out of the 5th or 6th inning, and then a “last guy on the roster” retread. Maybe there’s a case for an experienced big league backup stopgap backstop.

          Is there any point at which Bengie Molina could be signed without having to give up the Type A pick(s)?

      • All Praise Be To Mo

        Bring Jesus up for the 1st month, then put him back down unless he’s killing it to get the extra year of control. Instead of bringing him up in May after being in AAA to start, start him in majors, then drop him and bring him up in June/July if it’s a service time issue.

  • Rob

    probably but i dont care..cant wait to see more of jesus

  • Beamish

    So…what’s the trade value of a catcher with a broken foot again?

  • A.D.

    Sucks for Cervelli, as if this does give Montero the spot, probably going to be hard to displace him

  • Brian in NH

    At this point i don’t have a lot of faith in Martin being able to hold up for a whole season, so I don’t think that after the injury is healed for Cervelli Montero just goes to AAA again. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s up all season at this point. Injuries may force the Yankees hand.

    • Ted Nelson

      Martin caught 137+ games the 3 seasons before 2010 and he’s 28 this season. I’m not sure why you’d assume he’s suddenly injury prone.

  • squishy jello person

    Jesus is coming

    • Zooboy

      Again?

    • All Praise Be To Mo

      That’s what she said.

  • teddy

    i rather see montero start in triple a

  • http://twitter.com/j_yankees J_Yankees

    http://bit.ly/e3cKTO (NSFnonbelievers)

  • Griffey’s Grotesquely Swollen Jaw

    Cervelli just got Wally Pip’d

    • mike_h

      best comment of the month by far

  • Big Apple

    Where have you gone, Wally Pipp?

  • Hughesus Christo

    Might as well give Jesus the starting job too. HE SHALL SMITE ALL WHO STAND IN HIS PATH.

    • S

      I’m becoming a believer, Cervelli keeps undergoing freak injuries in ST and his one strength; defense was taken from him , same with Jorge and his strengths last year….someone has been dropping hints by taking out the competition…its only a matter of time that the eyes of Jesus decides to strike Martin and take what’s left of his abilities.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        I know you’re joking but it’s funny how the situation was changed over the past couple of months. From Cash stating Montero to win to Martin being signed and named the starter to the situation we have right now.

  • Mike Myers

    Times like this I miss fat man pasano. Wait, no I dont.

    • http://www.blogs.thetenthinningstretch.com the tenth inning stretch

      Sal Fasano? I just miss the awesome ‘stache.

  • Greg

    I’d be in favor of open competition for the starting job.. and having Martin as the backup.

    • Ted Nelson

      ?

      • Greg C

        Yeah, when Montero wins the job, I will take Martin over Cervelli as the backup.

  • tpont3

    Unless he’s going to be a starter, which he won’t, why worry with 1- getting Montero onto the 40 man roster, 2-wasting an option on sending him back down in two weeks, and 3- eating up a spot on the 40 man roster with a player that can stay off the 40 man for two more years before he’s rule 5 eligible?

    I think you go with Posada catching a few times as the “back up” for the first couple weeks of the season and stick with the plan for Montero and Romine in the minors. My second choice would be to keep Molina on for a couple weeks then DFA him when Cervelli comes back. Posada and Molina could even split catching duties on Martin’s off days.

    Keep in mind the only spot that will open up on opening day with the 40 man roster will be the logical Damaso Marte to 60 day DL move, which one would assume goes to whichever non roster invite that makes the team (Chavez, Belliard, Colon, Garcia, etc.)

    • Mike Myers

      agree 100%.

    • radnom


      I think you go with Posada catching a few times as the “back up” for the first couple weeks of the season and stick with the plan for Montero and Romine in the minors.

      Then who DHs those days? Arod? Then you have Pena or Nunez’s bat in the lineup essentially replacing Martin. Backup catchers get plenty of ABs. Montero is hitting the 40 man this season anyway, and the option will be wasted if he starts the season in the minors too. And who cares about the option anyway? If Montero needs all his options something went seriously wrong. If he has a solid spring, Montero should break camp with the big club.

      • hogsmog

        Andruw Jones? The guy we hired to be bat off the bench? I mean, he’s not a lefty, but in all honesty this lineup is set up to murder RHP anyway.

        • radnom


          Andruw Jones? The guy we hired to be bat off the bench?

          I guess, but I assume if you are putting Posada in at C you would use that opportunity to DH someone like Arod or Jeter instead of a corner outfielder.

          • Ted Nelson

            You don’t have to DH a corner OF. You can have your starting line-up minus Martin with Jones at DH. That may be a better offensive line-up than with Martin, anyway.

            • radnom


              You don’t have to DH a corner OF.

              Oh ok, who do you suggest then?

              You can have your starting line-up minus Martin with Jones at DH.

              But….Jones….plays…..corner…
              ah, nevermind :)

              • Ted Nelson

                “Oh ok, who do you suggest then?”

                Again, Jones: “You can have your starting line-up minus Martin with Jones at DH. That may be a better offensive line-up than with Martin, anyway.”

                “But….Jones….plays…..corner…
                ah, nevermind ”

                He’s the 4th OF. You still have your 3 starting OF starting in the OF. Now you get Jones bat in the line-up rather than Martin’s or Nunez’ or Pena’s. In all 3 cases that’s probably a good thing offensively.

              • hogsmog

                I do not know why you would think that the starting outfield is not Gardner, Granderson, Swisher. Since Crawford went to the Sox, nobody has questioned it, because this is a Sick Outfield (For The Price).

      • tpont3

        Good points, but I think we all know Girardi will get A Rod and Jeter, as well as Andruw Jones DH AB’s once every 10 games or so. Keep in mind we are only talking two weeks, not a month. The yanks have what, 3 or 4 off days over the first two and a half weeks of the season anyway, so Martin could catch every game.

        I do think that protecting all three of a player’s options is key though, ask Romulo Sanchez. Plenty of situations that won’t be in Montero’s control could arise that would cause the Yanks to need his options down the road.

        I’m just against rushing a player to the big club that will get maybe 10 AB’s before his replacement is back ready to play again.

        • Ted Nelson

          The key to me is really keeping him under control that extra year.

          In terms of options and only getting 10 ABs and rushing him… you are assuming that Cervelli was going to beat out Montero. Seems somewhat likely, but at the same time the Yankees were talking about Posada-ing Montero. I don’t think there’s any guarantee he’ll be sent back down or not get any ABs.

      • Mike Myers

        having him under team controll for longer is the bonus I was thinking of.

    • cgreen

      A catcher just coming off knee surgery and a 40 year old for a backup cannot be trusted…jesus needs to play.

      • Ted Nelson

        A 21 year old who most people don’t think has much business as a C anyway can be trusted? I’m fine with Jesus breaking camp with the team if that’s the decision the Yankees make, but I’m also fine if they go with Posada and/or someone else.

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

        A catcher just coming off knee surgery and a 40 year old for a backup cannot be trusted…

        Neither can a kid who might not even be a competent defensive catcher and who doesn’t have a single major league at-bat. See how it works?

        • radnom

          You are only strengthening his point IMO. Posada and Martin clearly can’t hold down the fort by themselves for two weeks (Posada shouldn’t be behind the plate) so would you choose a known bad quantity to join them (Molina) or another question mark but with great upside?

          • Ted Nelson

            Totally disagree. Martin has been a starting C for 5 seasons, and besides one injury has been one of the most durable backstops in the game. Posada caught 83 games last season… he can’t catch 5 this season? Why are either of those two more of a question mark than Montero? How many teams carry 3 C?

            • radnom


              How many teams carry 3 C?

              I think until we are given indication otherwise it is clear that (perhaps due to concussion related complications) that the Yankees do not view 2011 Posada as a C – he is strictly a DH at this point.

              Its nothing against Martin. Every catcher’s backup plays a lot. More than I would be comfortable relying on Posada for. Even if its not Montero – you absolutely cannot break camp with only those two.

              • Ted Nelson

                I don’t have a strong opinion either way about Montero. I think it’s fine either way: starting Jesus in the bigs, start him in AAA. No right or wrong answer.

                re: Posada, They may view giving him 2 or 3 games at C while Cervelli’s out different from using him even semi-regularly there. He is getting reps at C, so he is an emergency C. They may consider this a small emergency if they don’t want Montero up. Also an opportunity to hold both Chavez and Belliard a little longer instead of losing one, if Jorge can C a couple games.

                Martin has been particularly durable before 2010. Martin caught 137+ games for 3 straight seasons, so that only left 25 or fewer games for back-ups. He caught 149 in 2008, only leaving 13. And the early season schedule is light. Not saying it’s best to push him that hard, but he seems capable of C every day for a couple of weeks (while the schedule is light anyway and he’ll get off-days). I have no idea, but I think it’s conceivable that if the Yankees don’t want Montero breaking camp in NY they give Posada a couple games. Again, though I have no idea about his health.

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

            With just that, of course I’d choose the upside, but when you consider that the upside needs regular ABs, it is not that simple.

            • radnom


              it is not that simple

              It never is. Backup C’s tend to get a lot more ABs than their other positional counterparts. I don’t think it would be the worst thing in the world if he started the season with the big club. Worst case scenario, if hes struggling and not getting enough ABs you can send him down when Cervelli comes back after a nice low-pressure taste of the bigs.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        How quickly we forget that Montero has finished the last two seasons injured.

    • Ted Nelson

      “I think you go with Posada catching a few times as the “back up” for the first couple weeks of the season and stick with the plan for Montero and Romine in the minors.”

      That assumes the plan was to have Montero and Romine in the minors.

      “a player that can stay off the 40 man for two more years before he’s rule 5 eligible?”

      I sort of assume Montero is coming sooner than later one way or another. I don’t really understand your apparent obsession with keeping Reegie Corona on the 40 man.

      “Keep in mind the only spot that will open up on opening day with the 40 man roster”

      The Yankees have two Rule 5 guys on the 40 man that are almost definitely heading back to their old teams.

      • tpont3

        ahh yes I forgot the two rule 5’s will clear off. As far as the argument over Montero being the starter over the vets, that’s a whole separate issue that has been debated for most of the offseason.

        I personally was one of those in the boat that say the Yanks had a couple players holding up progress at the end of last year that kind of need to retire, and unfortunately, Posada is one of the two players people refer to.

        Point is, the fact that Montero isn’t starting at catcher for the Yanks on Opening Day has been decided. Now that Cervelli is hurt, the new debate will be how the Yanks adjust the roster for 2 weeks. Is wasting a valuable option on 10 AB’s and eating a spot on the 40 man worth it to the Yanks?

        BTW, I agree Corona remaining on the 40 man roster is stupid. He’d clear waivers and be back in the system right now, I’d wager.

        • ZZ

          You do realize that Cervelli was battling Montero for a job before he got injured, right?

        • Ted Nelson

          “Point is, the fact that Montero isn’t starting at catcher for the Yanks on Opening Day has been decided.”

          Posada didn’t start in 1997 either, though, and since Girardi was the guy in front of him that year it seems like a model they may implement with Montero at some point. I don’t know if that point is now, but it may be.

          “Is wasting a valuable option on 10 AB’s and eating a spot on the 40 man worth it to the Yanks?”

          Again, you’re making a big assumption saying it’s 10 ABs.
          In order for you to be wasting an option you’d have to assume that Montero will not play in the big leagues in 2011. That’s another huge assumption, and I doubt it’s true.

  • PaulF

    Poor Cervelli, he worked really hard over the winter and now he loses his spot on the team because of a fluke injury.

  • elvin

    Its sad to hear, but there is a huge silver lining in this, jesus montero gets to taste the MLB yankee uniform

  • UncleArgyle

    And with that Ladies and Gentleman, the Jesus Montero Era begins.

  • Brendan

    I think they should cancel the season. Oh wait this will actually help the Yanks

  • ZZ

    Big loss for the Scranton Yankees.

    Hopefully they don’t lose to much ground in the playoff hunt while Cisco is out.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    If Montero plays the whole season I think he is the front runner for ROY in the AL. I think he’ll hit 25 homeruns, and be around 300 all year.

    • Mike Myers

      maybe if martin wasnt on the team. Not that he cant do that, I just do see him getting enough at bats.

      • Brian

        Never know, if Martin or Posada gets hurt or if Montero simply proves himself at catcher and/or gets so hot at the plate that Girardi has to start him on the reg it very well could happen.

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      I think perhaps we should let him get one major league at-bat before we declare him ROY, no?

  • Pat D

    All rise in the presence of Dark Helmet!

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

    First off, poor Cervelli.

    As for the Jesus thing, I dunno. I can see both sides of the argument. I would like him to get regular at-bats and would not be surprised to see some totally shitty backup up here for a month or so while Cervelli recovers. I’m not really worried about the options/him being here through 2017, it’s an advantage but this is the Yankees we’re talking about here. On the other hand, it’s pretty exciting.

    And Posada isn’t going to back up, guys. Not because of ability, but because of health/concussions.

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

      I should also say that Montero backing up Martin to start the year is probably good for the Yankees at least short-term, so there’s an advantage beyond “it’s exciting!”, but why have him somewhere where he can’t get regular ABs for a month or so?

      • ZZ

        Because playing 2-3 days a week against major league pitching, working with the major league pitching staff he will be catching in the near future, with major league instruction, and the benefit of major league facilities are all incredibly valuable.

        Cashman, Newman, and Girardi have all talked about how valuable it could be to Montero to start the year with the club from day 1 before Cervelli even got injured.

        • Ted Nelson

          Definitely. The Posada model. I’m not saying either is better, but there’s an argument for both regular ABs and MLB.

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

          Getting your top hitting prospect irregular playing time to break in isn’t incredibly valuable, but that might be just me. There’s a chance it works out Posada-style, though, sure. This isn’t cut and dry, JMO.

          • Ted Nelson

            It’s not cut and dry, but I don’t think it’s any clearer that dominating AAA pitching is more valuable than MLB experience for Jesus in particular than vice versa.

            Also, if he’s holding his own at the MLB level the Yankees can probably find a decent number of PAs. If it doesn’t seem to be working out they can send him to AAA for regular work.

        • Bulasteve

          This

    • Tristan

      Options shouldn’t be a huge issue in regards to Montero. Once he comes up, he shouldn’t be going back to the minors multiple times. I would assume that Montero will get the call to the majors at some point this year whether it’s Opening Day or during the summer. Either way, an option’s getting used this season.

      Regular at bats are nice, but Montero destroyed AAA pitching during the second half of 2010. Could he simmer down there and work on some stuff? Sure, but there are a lot of positive things he could take from being in the majors too. Martin won’t catch every day and Posada won’t DH every day. He’ll get at-bats and get introduced to legitimate major league pitching in the process.

      I’m not glad Cervelli’s hurt, but Montero getting an opportunity is not a bad thing.

      • AndrewYF

        “Either way, an option’s getting used this season.”

        The only way an option would be used is if Montero starts the season in the majors and gets sent down later.

        I don’t see that happening.

        • Ted Nelson

          It’s definitely possible.

  • CS Yankee

    I was in the camp of Jesus starting this year in AAA. Adding a little seasoning and hopefully a June 1st call up.

    However, in learning that Jorge has some issues with PCS and with Cerv’ out, and with Montero getting praise (plus, actually seeing him catch myself)…I’m fine with him coming North out of camp.

    So, Montero (if things look like they do today) is added and plays as backup come April 1 in the bigs & also when Cervelli needs rehab starts in AAA. If Jesus is doing well and growing, keep Cerv’ down in AAA all year as they (Martin or Jesus) backup, or trade him in late June if/when Romine is ready for AAA.

  • Bonestock94

    How valuable would a couple of more months of triple a time be anyways? Worst case scenario he gets sent back down when cervelli is healthy. Bring him on.

  • steve s

    What will be interesting is if Montero starts out hot with the bat and so-so with his defense. The guy he may end up taking at-bats away from will be Jorge at DH, not Martin.

  • Matt

    WOOHOO! Awesome, AWESOME news that the foot is broken. Can’t wait to see Montero!

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

      I understand being excited about Montero but celebrating injury, really?

  • steve (different one)

    I don’t get the option issue. Do you guys not think Montero will be sticking in the bigs by 2014? If you do, what does it matter?

    • Ted Nelson

      No one really knows. Did you think Brandon Wood would be a career .498 OPS guy after crushing MiLB pitching for years? What if he has a lingering injury or string of injuries over the next few years?

      I think Jesus’ options are less important than more middling prospects, but it’s worth considering in their strategy.

  • Mickey Scheister

    Jesus on the mainline, tell em’ what you want! (to start), Call em’ up! Call em’ up! Tell em’ whatcha want! (I want him to start!)

    • Betty Lizard

      I shall never ever tire of singing this. Ry Cooder and Jesus Montero? Heaven.

  • Andrew Brotherton

    I think Jesus could get 450 plate appearances rotating between DH, and catcher.

  • http://myspace.com/bksmalls Smallz

    Jesus man (no pun intended) the guy demolished AAA last year. Hes ready for the Majors. Sending him down for another few months is not going to make him better. All your delaying is Major League development at this point. You think I’ll shed a tear if Romulo Sanchez or Steve Garrison are taken off the 40 man roster?? NOOOO EF UM. Once Montero comes up and starts hitting, theres no going back to the minors for this guy. I give it only a matter of weeks before Martin either gets hurt or gets off to a bad start and Montero ends up getting more playing time.

    • Bulasteve

      Sanchez is out of options so he is gone anyway.

  • ShuutoHeat

    Anyone with a good knowledge of ST history confirm the fact that CERVE might be the unluckiest player during ST?

  • Cuso

    you should have used the Moranis “Ghostbusters” headgear link

  • Norman

    Good Lord. Cervelli has a broken bone in his foot, he ain’t dead. How sensitive do fans need to be? Should I send a card? Balloons? Drop by with a lasagna?

  • Jimmy

    Even if Girardi would be willing to play Posada at C, using him as the backup C would limit their flexibility assuming he is also the regularly starting DH. Having the backup catcher at DH removes the ability to pinch hit for Martin or forfeits the DH. They could probably survive for a month like that, but knowing Girardi there’s no way he doesn’t start the season without a backup catcher sitting on the bench.

  • Andrew 518

    I understand we are all excited to see Montero but I can’t imagine a more pointless thing than having the guy who everyone hopes to be the catcher for the future sitting on the bench. This kid is young and inexperienced even at the minor league level, he needs to play everyday. If he wins the starting job, good for him, but otherwise he should be getting ab’s everyday.

    We’ve all gotten so used to having an aging catcher behind the plate that I think we forget that the starting C should be playing every game, not 3-4 a week. That doesn’t leave many at bats for the future of the franchise to develop.

    Given Martin’s health concerns I can’t believe that people are celebrating what could be a big (hopefully short term) loss for the club. I can’t wait to see Montero either but I wouldn’t consider this a good thing at all.

  • overly sensitive guy

    with all the unknowns about concussions, particulary the football player shooting himself in the chest so that his brain would be intact for scientific study, i feel like making the easy joke about big helmets looking dumb is a little irresponsible… it seemed to me that both cervelli and david wright ditched the big helmets just because they were getting crap for how it looked everyday from the local press… just saying…