Francisco Cervelli provides a solid back-up spot for any offense. (Image: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE).

Time for the Yankees to recall Francisco Cervelli?


It’s been no surprise this season that Russell Martin has had a tough time at the plate. The back-up catcher Chris Stewart is only used when CC Sabathia pitches or whenever Martin needs a day off. Personally, I always liked having Francisco Cervelli on the roster. I thought getting Stewart and sending Cervelli back to Triple-A was a huge slap in the face for Cervelli. Is Stewart a bad catcher? No, but he’s not Cervelli. Making his debut in 2008, Cervelli really stepped in as the backup catcher, and he spent time as the starting catcher in 2010. The Jesus Montero trade looked like it would definitely make Cervelli the backup in 2012, but the Yankees went out and signed Stewart, which I never understood. Martin is struggling at the plate and Stewart is just kind of there to take up space and catch for Sabathia, as he really provides nothing offensively and is an average defensive catcher. So, with that, is it time for the Yankees to call Cervelli back up to the Majors? 

Looking at what Cervelli as done in three years in the Majors, it’s a lot more impressive than what Stewart has done, who has been playing since 2006. The biggest thing between the two is that Cervelli has played 65 more games than Stewart, so clearly Cervelli has more experience behind the plate.  2011 was such a weird year honestly because at one point, the Yankees had four catchers on the roster: Jorge Posada, Martin, Cervelli and Montero. Typically, a team will only will want to stick with two catchers, and in this case, Cervelli has earned that spot on the roster. Cervelli to me has proved that is he a more capable back-up catcher than Stewart. He should be on the 25-man roster now, but that didn’t exactly happen. Going into this season, the combination of Martin and Cervelli was pretty much going to be it for the Yankees’ catching solution, but the front office had other ideas by signing Stewart.

Last year was Martin’s first year as a Yankee and he did fairly well for a catcher, batting .237 with 18 home runs, 65 RBIs and 57 runs scored. What surprises me is that you look at some of the stats Martin did have, such as 28 walks, you’ll see that Cervelli had 9 inside of 137 plate appearances. Martin’s 28 walks were inside of 476 plate appearances. Now it’s just speculation, but that tells me that if Cervelli had 476 plate appearances that he would have somewhere around 31 walks. While it’s not a huge step above what Martin did, three walks can be crucial. What if the bases were loaded? What if Cervelli was walked and the next hitter hit a home run? It’s not that I’m trying to say Martin is a bad catcher, but if Cervelli is putting up the same numbers, if not slightly better numbers, then why is he not on the 25 man roster? If Cervelli can put up those numbers and match Martin, he’d be considered a starter for most other teams, but on the Yankees, Stewart has the advantage over him? Come on.

This isn’t a rant to say how awful Martin is because he’s far from it. His years with the Los Angeles Dodgers showed not only Dodger fans, but the rest of the MLB that power hitting catchers do exist outside of Joe Mauer. This is more a question as to why the Yankees don’t have Cervelli on the roster. While Stewart is a decent catcher, he’s never really started and as mentioned before, has less experience behind the plate than Cervelli, despite debuting two years earlier. I’ve always felt Cervelli was as crucial a part to this team as anyone, yet a lot of fans don’t say the same.

Martin still can hit well, but his contact has been severely decreasing in the past few years. While he does have quite a few clutch hits and is usually able get some extra base hits, he also has a string of hit-less games. Right now, Martin has already struck out 41 times this season, a number which was doubled through the entirety of last season. What’s concerning about that stat is that July is still less than week away and if Martin continues to struggle, he’ll more than likely go over the 81 strikeouts he had last year. Fortunately enough, it isn’t all doom and gloom with Martin as he is keeping his on base percentage up (currently at .323) and is being a little more patient at the plate. I fear however that he isn’t waiting for his right pitch and that part of the game is all mental. With Martin struggling mentally and physically, the Yankees must bring up Cervelli, send down or just flat out get rid of Stewart, and go from there. Cervelli is a Yankee at heart and he’s definitely capable of catching MLB pitchers.

Let's hope Russell Martin can turn it around. (Image: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE).

So with that, is it time for the Yankees to consider their catching conundrum and bring Cervelli back? This isn’t to say that Martin should be benched or sent down, just maybe given some time off to work with Kevin Long and reconsider his approach at the plate. During that time, Cervelli needs to be brought up and take over the starting role temporarily. While having three catchers on a 25 man roster isn’t exactly ideal, the Yankees aren’t hurting too badly offensively, so perhaps it’s a temporary thing with Martin and the rebound will be fast. Looking forward to next year though, I would like to see Cervelli on the roster come Opening Day because I just don’t think Stewart is our answer for a back-up. There’s always the possibility of trying out the newly converted catcher in Brandon Laird come September, but then again, why worry about that as long as we have Cervelli?

Tags: CC Sabathia Chris Stewart Featured Francisco Cervelli Jesus Montero Joe Mauer Jorge Posada Los Angeles Dodgers New York Yankees Popular Russell Martin

  • MHunterYGY

    I think Stewart was definitely signed entirely for his defense. Last year for the Giants, he was superb defensively according to Fangraphs (http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=3878&position=C#fielding), saving 6 runs from caught stealings, and 2.3 from passed balls in just 67 games. If you stretch that out to a whole season, that’s at least 2 full wins saved just from defense. Of course, that defense probably isn’t sustainable, but clearly the Yankees really liked what they saw out of him defensively. Cervelli, on the other hand, isn’t so good defensively according to Fangraphs, and while he may be close to average offensively, the Yankees might have wanted to roster two types of catchers on the team: offensive and defensive. That’s just a guess, though. I definitely think there’s a good argument for calling up Cervelli instead of Stewart, which you articulated well here.

    • thatonemlbguy

       @MHunterYGY Thanks for your comment!
       
      Yep, it definitely gives room for Cervelli to improve. Looking at their ages, Stewart is 30 and Cervelli is 26. Catchers as we all know don’t last forever as it it the most demanding position in baseball, so Stewart as you said, won’t sustain his better defensive performances. Cervelli on the other hand has time to improve defensively, it’s just giving him the chances are what the Yankees need to do instead of signing a free agent.

    • thatonemlbguy

      @MHunterYGY
      Thanks for your comment!
       
      Yep, it definitely gives room for Cervelli to improve. Looking at their ages, Stewart is 30 and Cervelli is 26. Catchers as we all know don’t last forever as it is the most demanding position in baseball, so Stewart as you said, won’t sustain his better defensive performances. Cervelli on the other hand has time to improve defensively, it’s just giving him the chances are what the Yankees need to do instead of signing a free agent.
       

      • tom23

         @thatonemlbguy  @MHunterYGY you need to show improvement to get the chances
        You can’t play like shit in triple a and expect teams to say “well he’s terrible in triple a but he’s 26 so let’s bring him back up”

        • thatonemlbguy

           @tom23  @MHunterYGY We get it, you think Cervelli is terrible. No need to keep pointing it out on every single comment I make.

        • tom23

           @thatonemlbguy  @MHunterYGY that’s fine and ill stop- but if you think he should start or be called up you should point out what’s he going to do better than Martin or Stewart in 2012 to help this team. Saying Martin is struggling offensvely doesnt really help you ignore what Cervelli is doing.

        • tom23

           @thatonemlbguy  @MHunterYGY that’s fine and ill stop- but if you think he should start or be called up you should point out what’s he going to do better than Martin or Stewart in 2012 to help this team. Saying Martin is struggling offensvely doesnt really help when you ignore what Cervelli is doing or when you ignore his huge regression as a player.

        • thatonemlbguy

           @tom23  @MHunterYGY All I want or expect out of Cervelli is what Martin did last year, which isn’t that hard to. A decent average for a catcher (.240s/.250), but still providing those clutch hits. Cervelli can do that, because offensively he’s good. Defensively, I feel like we’re beating a dead horse on it. We both know he’s nowhere near Martin’s level, but he’s not the worst person to ever go behind the plate.
           
          Yeah, he’s not doing great in Triple-A which is concerning, but he’s not worthless. I know he’ll never be what Russell Martin is, nobody expects that from him. Not me, not you, not Joe Girardi and not the management. They do expect him to do his job though. He’s not going to be the next Yogi Berra or Johnny Bench, but he’s not that terrible. 

        • tom23

           @thatonemlbguy  
          and by the way i never put words in your mouth
          your’re the one who said
           
          “he does contribute his fair share of offense, and right now, it’d be better than what Martin can do on a consistent basis”
           
          which isn’t even remotely true

        • thatonemlbguy

           @tom23 Well it’s true, he could. Martin has had so many no-hit games lately it’s concerning. Cervelli in 2010. had an average of .271 inside of 93 games. In 2011, he batted .266 inside of 43 games. While 2011 was only in a fourth of the season (or at least close to it, 10 games under a fourth), he still provided a consistent average. 2012 is a mystery because he hasn’t played an MLB game this season. Cervelli is an option I’m not sure why the Yankees haven’t at least considered. If they just purely wanted his bat, stick him in as DH every now and then. It’s better than not using him at all.

        • tom23

           @thatonemlbguy  @MHunterYGY 
          except doing what russel martin did last year is in fact very hard to do- if it was easy every catcher  would be doing it and cervelli would not be getting owned in AAA
           
          a catcher with those offensive numbers is only a benefit if he plays good defense

        • thatonemlbguy

           @tom23  @MHunterYGY That’s why I said if the Yankees don’t feel comfortable enough having him temporarily start games, to use him as a DH every once in awhile. We did it last year with Jesus Montero. It’s unusual, but not inconceivable to use a catcher as a DH. In the mean time, Cervelli needs to learn how to command the game from a catching perspective and learn how to accurately throw to the bases if a runner is trying to steal. We know he’s not great at that, but that’s why we need to work with him.

        • tom23

           @thatonemlbguy martins struggling offense is a concern but they don’t have anything close to a better option
          its also a lot easier for a catcher to hit catching once or twice a week than it is when he catches 4-5 games a week as martin is doing now and cervelli is doing in AAA
           
          Using him as a part time DH is not better than not using him at all
          Having a DH with a horrible OPS and zero power makes no sense.He as a DH will never come close to being as good of an offensive option as Ibanez,Jones vs lefties,Chavez or using it to give Arod Cano or Jeter a half day off. For that matter it drives me crazy when Girardi uses Martin as the DH on occasion.

        • thatonemlbguy

           @tom23 Who says we need power as a DH? I know it sounds crazy, but the one thing the Yankees lack a lot of is contact. Jeter, Swisher and Cano (occasionally A-Rod) can hit for contact. Guys like Tex, Granderson, Ibanez and Jones only really hit for power, hence why Granderson is batting .241 with 21 home runs. The Yankees need some solid contact hitters and cannot always rely on the long ball to win their games. Cervelli can provide just that. Give him the option of pinch hitting or being the DH maybe twice a week if not three times. It can’t hurt to try it and if it’s successful, then we’re just that harder to beat.

        • tom23

          no having players who at best will have a .700 ops is not the answer at dh
          .240 hitting “contact” guys who dont get on base often and dont hit for power are useless offensively especially as dhs, especially with the other options the Yankees have.
          They don’t lead to runs being produced at all.
           
          Cervelli at his best has been a well below average major league hitter- those guys don’t make dhs.In fact if cervelli wasnt a catcher you wouldnt even know who he was because he would either be in single a or would be out of baseball.
           
          russel martin has been a good hitter for a catcher- that does not make him a good candidate to be a dh either
           
          the yankees will always have at least 3 or 4 guys not even in the starting lineup who are better offensive options than Martin or cervelli. If those guys could catch they would be playing.
           
          Downgrading yourself offensively like you would be doing by dhing cervelli (or Martin for that matter) does not lead to your team scoring more runs as a team.
           
          At this point you aren’t even making any sense.
          There is never a time where it would make sense to have cervelli dh and barring something unsual like the 14 inning game against the Nationals in an NL park or a player getting hurt there is never a point where you would pinch hit him in a big spot because there will always be several significantly better options still on the bench.
           
          Montero was a good option as a dh because his upside is as an excellent major league hitter,he destroyed the minor leagues offensively and even this year while he has struggled on Seatle overall  he has absolutely destroyed left handed pitching.
           
          I
           

        • MHunterYGY

           @tom23 Ok at this point this argument is going absolutely nowhere. Benjamin thinks Cervelli is a good hitter, Tom doesn’t. Agree to disagree?

        • thatonemlbguy

           @MHunterYGY  @tom23 Agree. We’ve beaten the dead horse so much here.

        • tom23

          And if for some reason you would want a light hitting “contact” guy as a Dh- then you should actually recommend a light hitting contact guy not a guy who in his minor league career has struck out in 18.3% of his plate appearances and is up to 20.0% this year.
           
          In contrast granderson is at 25% this year and 22% for his career
          Tex is at 13.1% this year and 17.0% for his career
           
          Jones does strike out a ton 
           
          Ibanez is at 12.6% this year and 15.7 pct for his career 
           
          And Chavez is at 17.5% this year, and 17.1% for his career
           

        • tom23

           @MHunterYGY lol Ill leave it alone if you guys want from here on out but thatoneguy has zero clue about baseball
           
          On top of that he’s is just making things up as he goes along
          The kicker is saying cervelli could be a productive dh/pinch hitter and what makes it even worse is making the false assumption that getting a light hitting contact guy would make a better dh than their other options, and then even if that were true the facts are cervelli isnt even a better contact guy than most of the other dh options on the Yankees
           
          The funny thing is I only found this article when I went to check Cervellis stats on baseball reference(its linked on his page) because a friend and I wanted to check his minor league stats for this season for a good laugh.

        • thatonemlbguy

           @tom23  @MHunterYGY I know nothing about baseball? Keep telling yourself that.

        • tom23

           @thatonemlbguy  @MHunterYGY 
          try stating some facts to defend your viewpoints
           
          you just recommended a way below average major league hitter who can’t even hit in triple a to be a major league  part time dh because he’s a “contact guy with no power” 
          when everyone else on the team hits way better than him and almost everyone of them strikes out less often
          but yea its better to have a .240 hitter who strikes out hits for no power and doesnt get on base  a lot than it is to have a .240 hitter with lots of power  who gets on base a lot
           
          excellent point- less offensive production leads to more runs for a team why  didnt i think of that? Oh that’s right b/c I live in reality.
           
          You know less than nothing about this game

        • thatonemlbguy

           @tom23  @MHunterYGY I did state some facts, but clearly, your head is too far up your ass to read. 
           
          Can’t even hit a triple? Are you serious? I really think you’re out of touch with reality bud. I really do. Jones? He’s batting .218 with 36 strikeouts in 101 at bats, or 36% of the time. Yet apparently Jones is supposed to DH since Ibanez is in left while Gardner is out.  DeWayne Wise? He’s batting .198 with only one home run and three RBIs, yet he’s STILL on the roster? Oh, wait, in your world it’s because he’s not Cervelli so he must be good! The Yankees have enough power, but not enough contact, that’s been evident in the past few years as they continue to lead in home runs. Get real dude
           
          I know nothing about this game? Really? Then tell me, why did FanSided accept me to write for TWO blogs? Yet you have the nerve to tell me I’m out of touch with reality? Take a look at yourself.

        • MHunterYGY

           @tom23  @thatonemlbguy Tom, while I generally agree with your position here, you could have stated it in a more respectful manner, arguing the facts of the matter without insulting the opposing point of view. That does nothing productive, and clearly escalates the conflict. Because we all know this argument is going nowhere, let’s leave our egos at the door, and just stop arguing.

        • tom23

           @thatonemlbguy  @MHunterYGY Dwayne Wise sucks and is a defensive replacement who is only here b/c Gardener is hurt
          I never said anything good about Wise he is garbage but even he has a role on this team (not for long though). If you’re arguing Cervelli is a better offensive player than Wise I guess you’re right but that’s like debating which bag of shit smells better.
           
           
          Andru Jones stirkes out 36% of the time- hes the one guy you metnioned who strikes out a lot more than Cervelli and despite that against lefties he is still way more productive than Cervelli
          He should only play against lefties
           
          Granderson strikes out a little more than cervelli and he is leaps and bounds better offensively than Cervelli on his best day
           
          Every other guy you critisized for striking out too often actually strikes out LESS often than Cevrelli and produces offensively at a much better rate
           
          I’m not sure why you were asked to write two blogs- but its pretty funny that’s your defense for saying you know anything about this game when you are incapable of defending your points with logic and facts despite ample opportunity to do so
           
          I was actually trying to have a debate with you until you started mentioning cervelli dhing
           
          You pointed out Montero being a catcher and dhing last year and this year as though that has anything to do with Cervelli
          He’s a catcher who can actually hit
          Posada also dhed sometimes
          Piazza dhed sometimes both on the A’s and in interleague (and I think in the 2000 world series for a game or 2)
          Im sure Buster Posey would Dh if he played in the AL once in a while
           
          The reason it’s unusual to have a catcher DH is because most catcher’s cant hit.
          Finding the rare catcher who can hit  and dh’s sometimes and using that as a justifcation as having a below avergae offensive player DH who happens to be a catcher is illogical.

  • jkra0512_SK

     ThatOneMLBGuy 
    First off, great topic and write up!
     
    I just don’t think Cervelli is much of an improve over Stewart. He’s hitting .246/.320/.319 in 137 plate appearances at the AAA level this season, compared to Stewart’s .258/.275/.303 batting line in 70 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Cervelli is striking out every five at-bats at the AAA level!
     
    I think Matt was right that the Yankees wanted an offensive catcher (Martin) and a defensive one (Stewart). I also think many people are unfairly judging Stewart on the Mets game where he looked exactly like Cervelli by throwing balls into CF trying to gun down runners. I like Cervelli’s fire and his will, but in my eyes, he’s not all that much better than Stewart to justify sending Stewart down. Why mess with the chemistry of a first-place team?

    • thatonemlbguy

       @jkra0512_SK Thank you!
       
      Well, I just don’t think Stewart was ever the answer for the Yankees, especially with Cervelli there and the eventual Austin Romine and Brandon Laird. However, Stewart is not a bad catcher, but I think it was kind of unnecessary to sign him. All they need to do with Cervelli is work on his defense more, but he does contribute his fair share of offense, and right now, it’d be better than what Martin can do on a consistent basis (plus he’s still hurt I believe). I’m not expecting Cervelli to put up amazing numbers, but I just thought getting Stewart over him, especially for only one category was a bit odd. Just work with Cervelli and he’ll be fine. It’s really not that Cervelli is superior to Stewart, but I just think if we already had a guy who caught a lot, primarily in 2010, then we would be fine. 

      • jkra0512_SK

         @thatonemlbguy 
        I respectfully disagree. Cervelli had his opportunity the past two years to make his case. If he was good enough for the Yankees, they wouldn’t have gone out for a catcher like Stewart. It’s not like Cervelli is killing it in AAA.

      • tom23

         @thatonemlbguy  @jkra0512_SK How can you say cevrelli would be a better hit than Martin (this is beyond ridiculous) when despite  Martin having a bad offensive year cervelli is having an even worse year in triple A and has never hit in triple A or the Majors?
         
        And guys can get better defensively- but cervelli is awful -””working on him” won’t get him up to even Stuarts level let alone Martins
         
        If you want to play terrible defense and be a major league catcher you better hit like Posada or Piazza

        • thatonemlbguy

           @tom23  @jkra0512_SK  Jimmy, that is true. Cervelli did have time to shine, but he still does. He’s only 26. I’m not expecting him to crush the ball, just at least have somewhat of a decent average as a back up catcher. 
           
          Tom, first off, I never said Cervelli should be the starter permanently . I said since Martin is struggling now, maybe he needs some temporary time off and perhaps bringing up Cervelli may get Martin some incentive to work harder so this wouldn’t have to happen again.
           
          Second of all, saying Cervelli is terrible at baseball is just ridiculous. You completely disregard the fact that helping him improve would be beneficial. You said that Cervelli can never get up to Martin or even Stewart’s level. I’m sorry, but that is such an asinine thing to say. Guys improve their way of playing. Cervelli is still young and has time to learn the game, especially from the catcher’s role. Is he going to be perfect? Absolutely not. Stewart is 30 and not getting any younger. I’m not saying age hampers Stewart, but the Yankees have had the mentality as of late to sign older players when they already have guys they can work with who are younger.
           
          However, you have your opinion and I fully respect that. That said, I feel like you skipped over some of what I said and decided to twist my words. I never once said that Cervelli was superior to Martin, offensively or defensively, which is what you said I did. I did say Cervelli, in my mind, was a more capable backup as he’s played in New York before, but I never said Cervelli was superior to Stewart. I did say Cervelli has had more experience behind the plate and I felt he was just as good a back-up as Stewart and that I did not understand the Yankees’ signing of Stewart when had Cervelli.

        • MHunterYGY

           @thatonemlbguy  @tom23  @jkra0512_SK I do think Martin has been extremely underrated this year. Yes, he’s not doing great, but he’s been about average offensively, with a 95 wRC+ (info on that stat here: http://yanksgoyard.com/2012/06/23/sabermetric-outlook-series-a-primer/). In fact, he’s been better offensively than Jesus Montero this year. Everyone sees the low batting average and assumes he has been awful, but the high walk rate and fairly good power for a catcher makes him valuable. Add to that that Martin has been an above average defensive catcher over his career, and he is actually a very good option at catcher. He’s 4th on the Yankees in WAR.
           
          This doesn’t impact the Cervelli vs. Stewart debate, and honestly, I don’t think that debate can be resolved since catcher defense is so hard to measure in a small sample size. But I think it’s pretty clear that both Stewart and Cervelli are much worse than Martin. And it’s not because Martin isn’t working hard enough. I’m sure he’s working his a** off to improve, which he will I’m sure.

        • tom23

           @thatonemlbguy  @jkra0512_SK 
           I was happy when the got Stewart because it improved the team. Granted a backup catcher (especially when the better option is Chris Stewart) isnt going to have a huge impact on the team, but any team improvement is good in my book. Saying helping Cervelli improve would help the team while true is a pretty worthless point. You can say that about anyone in any sport, Chris Stewart and Russel Martin included. You’re correct Martin is struggling- and as bad as Martin has been by his standards he is still playing very good defense and is hitting better than Cervelli is in the minor leagues- a point you refuse to address. This isnt some guy tearing up triple a.You’re quick to point Martin’s offensive struggles but don’t mention Cervelli’s inability to hit triple A pitching let alone his defensive short comings.If Cervelli wasn’t playing so horribly I could maybe see the merit in having him catch some games to light a fire under Martin’s ass. As of right now he is not a more capable backup than Stewart. Maybe he will improve one day but show me the improvement first.Saying some guys improve is 100 pct true- but lots don’t.Getting owned by AAA pitching isn’t exactly demonstrating improvement.In fact he is regressing. Pointing out the fact that he is 26 and Stewart is 30 really doesn’t matter because we are not talking about who should be the backup catcher in 2016- we are talking about who the better option is for 2012. You said that Cervelli can never get up to Martin or even Stewart’s level. I’m sorry, but that is such an asinine thing to say.   I never said he couldn’t get up to Stewarts level-I said he’s not close to Stewart’s level defensively and is a marginally better hitter than him right now.If he improves his defense he can potentially be a backup catcher who is basically a fringe major leaguer. He may end up being better than Stewart. However HE WILL NEVER EVER BE CLOSE TO THE PLAYER RUSSELL MARTIN HAS BEEN.
           
          The Yankees have made mistakes in the past of going for older players- however giving an older free agent a long expensive contract  over a cheap option who is doing well in the minor leagues is a lot different than going for the better option for one year when both players are making the league minimum.If Cervelli wants to be called back up he needs to play like it.

        • tom23

           @MHunterYGY  @thatonemlbguy  @jkra0512_SK 
           
          Agree completely on Martin.The real discussion should be about Cervelli/Stewart not Cervelli/Martin. The idea of promoting a player who can’t even cut it in AAA over Martin was laughable at best.
           
          I also agree its tough to judge catchers defenseively over small samples. However Stewart really has done everything defensively way better than Cervelli.its true if you watch them throw, block balls, and block the plate. its true if you look at defensive stats both in the majors and in the minors .if it was close statistically over a small sample that would be a different story but it’s really not.

    • tom23

      @jkra0512_SKThatOneMLBGuy
      sorry thought you had stuarts numbers off when you were in fact talking about molinas 2012 season- I was mad when they let him go which was after the 2009 season- I wish he was on their team the last 2 years, that doenst mean I would want him now the way he has been playing.
       
      With that said Molina’s catchers era year after year is 1.5-2 runs per game lower than the other catcher’s era on his team and this has been going on for years
      He has never been a guy who just caught one pitcher and that is way too big of a sample size to be a coincidence
       

  • tom23

    cervelli is terrible at baseball and i hope he never sees the light of day as a Yankee again
    he is AWFUL defensively which you convinently  forget to mention
    Cervelli’s “fire” is also a detriment- nobody likes a loud mouth idiot especially one who can’t even cut it in triple A
     
    As bad as Martin has been offensively this year, Cervelli has been even WORSE  in triple A
     
    Basically you like the guy so you want him to be on the team even though he makes them worse
     
    Stuart has done a fine job this year as a back up- even if he is average defensively that’s still better than Cervelli
     
    I wish that they had kept Molina- he is awesome back there and extremely underrated as a player

    • jkra0512_SK

       @tom23 
       
      Easy!I liked Molina too, but you want a guy who is hitting .195/.264/.339 in 129 PA who only throwing out 17% of runners? Yeah, that seems like the answer…

      • tom23

         @jkra0512_SK if you’re going to bring up a stat that doesnt tell the whole story at least have cervelli be better at it
        Stuart is at 25% this year, 39 % last year and 37% for his career when throwing out potential base stealers
        Cervelli was at 14% each of the last two years and 20 % for his career and was only at 24% last year in AAA
        Stuart also calls a better game,blocks pitches and the plate better
         
        The author of this article suggested cervelli be the starter which is laughable when Martin is significantly better offensively and defensively even when he is having an off year offensively and even comparing his numbers to cervellis putrid  numbers in triple A
         
        Cervelli is a marginally better hitter than stuart and significantly worse defensively
        Stuart isnt exactly Mike Piazza with his .243/.275/303 slash line neither is cervelli with is .244/.323/.316 this year in  AAA or .247/.318/.326 for his career in AAA
         
        I don’t think Stuart is great defensively either but feel a catcher’s defense  is extremely underrated (why I loved Molina) and Cervelli is basically useless in that regard

        • tom23

           @jkra0512_SK sorry thought you had stuarts numbers off when you were in fact talking about molinas 2012 season- I was mad when they let him go which was after the 2010 season- I wish he was on their team the last 2 years, that doenst mean I would want him now the way he has been playing.
           
          With that said Molina’s catchers era year after year is 1.5-2 runs per game lower than the other catcher’s era on his team and this has been going on for years
          He has never been a guy who just caught one pitcher and that is way too big of a sample size to be a coincidence

        • jkra0512_SK

           @tom23 
           
          Firstly, it’s Stewart not Stuart…pet peeve of mine, please spell the guy’s name correctly. haha
           
          Secondly, I agree with many of your points. If you check out my comments below, I actually don’t think Cervelli is any better than Stewart. I actually like Stewart’s defense and I was a little disappointed when they let Molina walk. However, saying that I don’t think the Yanks would have ever gotten Russell Martin.

        • tom23

          I think they still may have
          Molina was Posadas back up so I don’t see why that would have prevented them from getting Martin
          Basically instead of having Cevrelli last year Molina would have played in that roll

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  • Cadyfatcat

    While Cervelli is certainly not a good idea to put in DH, I do think the yankees do need to focus more on contact, especially in RISP w/LTO at bats, where a good grounder or a sac fly will bring a man in. They have been horrendous with RISP this year and too many times I’ve seen men stranded on third. Basically, I’m worried about the postseason, because I think when facing good pitching all the yankees can be struck out easily in these situations. There’s nobody that I trust (with the exception of jeter) to make contact and get a guy home if that’s what’s needed. Two guys who were great at that: Damon and Abreu. Also, Swisher has had a productive year so far but he has been compromising his eye, his usual spread between BA and OBP is around .100, this year it’s less than 60. Also, why the hell is Jason Nix on the team rather than Nunez? That’s just stupid. Yes Nunez has a bit of work to do in the field, but his offense and speed on the bases, especially with gardner out, more than make up for it. 
     
    Just had to vent

    • tom23

       @Cadyfatcat
       I actually agree with much of this post- although it has nothing to do with cervelli.
       
      They have been awful this year- by the same token players strikeout rates from year to year are relatively consistent and yet many of them have hit a lot worse with RISP than they have in the past. It could be that they are pressing, it could just be a coincidence.Having someone who makes more contact would be helpful in these spots.
       
      Swishers OBP is down about 50 points in 2011-12 than it was from 2009-10 which is a big issue.
       
      I have to disagree with you on Nunez.Nunez at this point  needs reps in the minors.His defense has been so bad in both the IF and OF that he might as well wear a frying pan for a glove. He is defitnly faster than Nix and a better hitter (he’s a much more talented hitter but has a terrible approach at the plate so they offenseive gap isn’t nearly as wide as it should be-look at what Nunez has done in both the majors and minors compared to Nix-he should be emabrrased) but Nix is a much better fielder and I think overall they are slightly better off with Nix- especially considering the fact that their offense is very good and their defense especially without gardener is not very good (the outfield with Gardener out is terrible, Jeter is an awful defensive shortstop,Arod is still OK at third but has diminsihed a lot, Tex Cano and Martin are all excellent.)
       
      It will never happen (it never did when they had Pena either) but it would be nice if in the 9th inning of a game with a one or 2 run lead Girardi would actually replace Jeter defensvely with Nix, especially if Jeter had just hit in the 8th.Of course he has also had games where Jones was the DH with Ibanez or Swisher (or both) in the field, and while Jones isnt what he used to be he is still way better defesively than those two. When gardener was healthy and wasnt playing against lefties there were even games where in the 9th inning he would put gardener in for Jones defensvely while leaving Swisher in the game instead of sliding Jones to right.There was also a 3-2 game the Yankees won where Girardi left Nunez in left field in the 9th inning depsite having Jones on the bench- so I really don’t expect him to start actually upgrading the teams defense in the 9th inning of games with a small lead.

      • tom23

         @Cadyfatcat
         forgot to add nunez is also injured

        • Cadyfatcat

           @tom23 I certainly don’t like bad defense, I looked at the numbers and they’re more even than I thought, but they still side for Nunez. Nunez had 20 errors last year in 112 games, Nix has had two in 30, extrapolated out that’s about 8. I think it’s fair to assume Nunez would bat 2.75, .050 above Nix. Say they both would have had 70 games with an average of 4 ABs per game. That gives Nunez 14 more hits than Nix, I assume a hit is equal to an error (it’s the same thing just on the other side of the field). Add in Nunez’s stolen bases at a value of 0.5 hits each, and you have another 6 hits on top of that. So he is worth at least 20 more hits, subtract the 12 more errors and he is still 8 ahead of Nix. I also think Nunez isn’t a terrible prospect if he can get his defense together. Having him work on his D on the big league level allows you to shop him around if need be, he has more of a chance to impress the management of other teams on the field. I also don’t think there is a problem with his approach to the plate, he’s come through in a fair amount of clutch situations. I also think some quick guys on the bases bring some excitement to the bench, and with Gardner out there is nobody doing that.  I wholeheartedly agree with Jones’ defense, sure he doesn’t have the speed he used to but his positioning and reads are still of gold glove caliber. he made a sliding grab coming in the other night the other night and made the play look easy.

        • tom23

           @Cadyfatcat Errors don’t even tell the whole story-its about all of the extra balls Nunez won’t get to that Nix will.
           
          Nunez isnt going to get a chance to work on his defense at the major league level- look at the infield, he basically is never going to play.Nix has only started 7 games as an infielder so barring an injury Nunez wouldnt have had much of a chance to work on his defense. In the short run the Yankees are probably a little better off with Nix (in large part bc of the makeup of their team) and in the long run they’ll be better off with Nunez actually getting to play in AAA (once he’s healthy) to work on his defense.
           
          Nunez’s approach at the plate is pretty bad.He still chases a lot of pitches outside of the strike zone and swings at too many pitcher’s pitches in the zone when he’s ahead in the count. He does have raw ability though so he’ll be a much better hitter if/when he learns to be more patient.