Sunday, May 9, 2010

Francisco Cervelli becoming a big-league star

Francisco Cervelli is showing that he is more than just Jorge Posada's back-up catcher. He's becoming a star right before our eyes.

For all the talk about calling Jesus Montero up to the big leagues, Cervelli has really been the most important replacement player for the limping New York Yankees. In Posada's absence, he has hit .429 with 12 ribbies. How many teams would love to have a primary catcher who hits like that, let alone a back-up catcher? Cervelli's no slouch on the bases either, beating out balls for hits and tripling earlier in the week, much to the amusement of Yankees Captain Derek Jeter.

Most importantly, Cervelli has made the Yankees starters so comfortable that they have continued their superb pitching throwing to him. They really feed off his energy. That’s critical because starting pitching has been the primary reason for the Yankees dominance so far this season, with the offense only really coming to life in the last two games against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

The youngster has played so well that the Yankees haven't missed Posada as much as anyone would have thought. Of course, the Yankees need Posada to get better and back in their lineup. But Cervelli's great play has important implications. Joe Girardi can rest or DH Posada without missing a beat. That's important because Posada turns 39 in August and keeping him healthy will be an important priority for the Yankees manager.

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