Monday, February 15, 2010

Francisco Cervelli's time is now

Francisco Cervelli stepped up for the New York Yankees in a big way last year when both Jorge Posada and Jose Molina went down with injuries within a week. His fantastic baseball performance was surprising and very welcome, hitting nearly .300 and earning raves from a pitching staff where some members quietly grumbled about Posada's catching ability. Now let's see what Cervelli can do with his chance to shine as Posada's backup.

The pressure on Cervelli is going to be tremendous this year, especially with superprospect Jesus Montero waiting in the wings. Montero is already getting a lot of ink, with a profile in the Daily News this weekend. But Montero is only 20 years old and probably needs at least another year or two in the minor leagues. This is Cervelli's time to show what he can do in the big leagues.

He is lucky to have a former big-league backstop in Joe Girardi as his manager. Girardi taught Posada a lot of what he knows about catching and can do the same for Cervelli. Plus, Girardi is going to be patient with the youngster and will do his best to deflect any pressure. But ultimately it will be up to Cervelli to show last year was no fluke. I'll be rooting for him.

Thanks to Keith Allison via Wikipedia for the photo.

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