In the long run, the biggest disappointment for the New York Yankees in the MLB suspensions could have nothing to do with Alex Rodriguez- it could be about the suspension of Francisco Cervelli. Alex’s best days are behind him. Cervelli’s biggest contributions are possibly yet to come.
Remember, when the Yankees broke camp from spring training, Cervelli was slated as the starting catcher. He had fought back from a surprising demotion to the minors last season and was hitting the ball hard at times and showing ability behind the plate.
The Yankees expressed their disappointment in a released statement:
“We are disappointed with the news today of the suspension of Francisco Cervelli. It is clear that he used bad judgment.”
When the news broke in February of Cervelli’s ties to Biogenesis, he admitted his connection. He explained that he had “consulted with a number or experts, including Biogenesis Clinic, for legal ways to aid my rehab and recovery.” He was referring to his recovery from a foot injury that he received in 2011.
Cervelli clarified his ties by stating, “I talked to somebody who recommended Biogenesis,” he said on February 13th. “I went there, I asked questions and that’s it. I walked away with nothing in my hand. Right now, I realize that maybe it was a mistake to go there, but it happened, so what can I do?”
Whether he left with nothing in his hand is irrelevant. He shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
The suspension adds to the challenge that Cervelli has in regaining the starting catcher spot. That opportunity could have proved likely for Cervelli because, although Chris Stewart has performed well behind the plate, he has struggled with the bat.
Barring trades or the free agent market, it is possible that the Yankees catcher of the future may be Austin Romine. Romine has performed consistently on defense, and has shown recent signs of improvement at bat. In the last ten games, Romine has hit .435 with a home run and four runs batted in. He has had ten hits in the stretch. Give Romine consistent at-bats, and let’s see how well he can produce.
Cervelli is not contesting the suspension.