Amid his own battle for a roster spot in Tampa this spring, Francisco Cervelli sent a message out on Thursday for the battle currently going on in his homeland. Posting a picture of he and 12 of his Yankees teammates on Instagram, Cervelli plead for peace in his native Venezuela.
“I’m not trying to be political, I play baseball but I care about people,” Cervelli told reporters when discussing the picture. He and his teammates, including CC Sabathia, Eduardo Nunez, and Ichiro Suzuki posed holding the Venezuelan flag with signs that read Paz, the Hispanic word for Peace, amongst other messages. It is a simple message to stop the violence that is occurring in Venezuela, where recently over 50 people have been killed in government protests.
Cervelli went on to explain how his own sister, who recently gave birth outside of the country, can not return home to their family. It is too difficult to find flights with the unrest in the region. He also prays every day for the safety of his parents who are still in the country. Somewhat a trend setter, other teams have posted similar pictures over the last few days.
The long-time Yankee reserve who is entering his seventh season is in camp battling to back up Brian McCann this spring. Coming off a lost season due to injury and PED suspension, Cervelli is the favorite for the roster spot. He has his hands full this season with the bevy of young talent the Yankees possess at catcher. His experience, however, should help him hold off the likes of Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez, and JR Murphy for now. Cervelli owns a .271 career batting average with 8 HRs and 79 RBI over 201 career games.