As of Friday November 30, 2012, Russell Martin and the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a 2 year/$17million after having a poor offensive season with an batting average of .211 with 21 home runs and 53 RBI. Now, The New York Yankees are going into the 2013 season not knowing who is going to be their Starting catcher. Right now they have three catchers on their roster and they happened to be Yankee Prospect Austin Romine (who had missed the entire 2012 season due to an back injury he suffer during Spring Training).Chris Stewart(who was the Yankees back-up catcher in 2012). And Francisco Cervelli(who spend most of 2012, down in Triple A with the Empire Yankees, but got called up in September 1, 2012 and happened to be a fan-favorite). Many Yankees fans were wondering what the Yankees are going to do when it come to the catching position. Currently, this offseason the Free Agent Market for catchers is extremely thin in other words, there’s not that many catchers out on the Free Agent that actually meets the Yankees expectations on what they’re looking for. Now with Martin off the Free Agent Market, the only top 2 catchers left on the Free Agent Market are AJ Pierzynski(who will be turning 36 this month) and Mike Napoli. As for the trading Marketing it doesn’t look promising for the Yankees to get a catcher. Here is my take on why the Yankees need to use their in-house catchers instead of getting a Free agent catcher or make a trade for a catcher.
Every Yankee fans including myself are wondering who would be the likely candidate for a starting catcher? With a Thin Free Agent Market for the catching position, they need to rely on either Romine or Cervelli as the starting catcher for the team. Here my clear take on Austin Romine.
Austin Romine has been the Yankees top prospect since 2008. He was drafted by the team in the second round of the 2007 first-year player drafted. The Yankees see Romine as one the best defensives in the game. In 2011, Austin Romine made his major league debut on September 11 after the Yankee deciding to put their back-up catcher Francisco Cervelli on DL with a Concussion symptom. With the Yankees trading Jesus Montero to Seattle on January 13, 2012, Romine goes into the 2012 Spring training in hopes of winning a spot on the team as Russell Martin’s back-up. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case of Austin suffer a back injury during spring training an injury that he happened in 2011 when he was with the Yankees Double-A team. As the result, the 23 year old backstop had miss most of the 2012 season and played only 23 games with SWB Yankees. Romine might be a big impact on the team , but miss most of the 2012 season the Yankees would rather see Austin to catch everyday in Triple A in 2013. I think Austin Romine might need at least couple more years down in the minors so he can continue working on his offensive and defense. We may have to see what Romine has in Spring training, now lets go on Fan Favorite Francisco Cervelli.
New York Yankee backstop Francisco Cervelli has made impact on the Yankees in 2009. He was signed with the team on March 1, 2003 as a International Free Agent from Venezuela. Cervelli used to play as a Shortstop, Second Baseman and Pitcher in his home country before the Yankees ask him if he was willing to become a catcher. From 2006 to2009, Francisco was named Best Defensive Catcher in the Yankees farm system by Baseball America. On March 8, 2008, Francisco suffered a wrist injury after home plate collision with Tampa Bay Ray’s Elliot Johnson. That’s didn’t stop him from making his Major League Debut on September 18,2008 as a defensive replacement.
Cervelli started the 2009 season with Double A Trenton before getting called up on May 5th. He was called up after Jorge Posada was placed on the DL with a Grade 2 Hamstring. He made his first major league start on May 7th in the fifth inning after Yankees Back-up/Starting catcher Jose Molina left the game with a quad injury. He made his full game appearance on May 8,2009 where he got his first major hit while catching a complete game shutout with C.C. Sabathia. Most rookies come to major leagues and having the jitter bugs. For the Cisco Kid that wasn’t the cases. He came up to the major leagues embracing the New York spotlight. With his Hyperactive energy and a positive attitude, The Yankees and their fans had embraced him every since. He has been the Yankees everyday catcher until Posada and Molina got back from rehabbing their injuries. Cervy hit his first major league home run on June 24,2009 against Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen. On July 7th, 2009 he was sent down to Triple-A after reinstated Jose Molina,however he came back to the team during the September Call up. On September 16,2009, Cervelli hits his first ever walk off hit in the victory over Toronto. He also was part of the 2009 postseason where the team ending up winning their 27th World Series.
New York Yankees named Francisco Cervelli as their Back-up catcher in 2010 where he played in 93 games with a batting of .271 and 38 RBI. In the start of 2011, Cervelli was placed on 15 day DL with a broken foot on March 1. The Yankees Backstop was activated from the DL on April 29,2011 where he served as a back-up catcher to Russell Martin. During the 2011 season, the Cisco Kid played in 43 games where he was hitting .266 with 4 home runs and 22 RBI before his ended his season with a concussion which he suffered on September 8th 2011 after the home plate collision with Baltimore Orioles Nick Markakis. In Spring Training 2012, Francisco Cervelli when into the season knowing that he’ll the Yankees back-up catcher. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case as the energetic fan favorite catcher was been told on the last day of Spring training that he was to be demoted to Triple-A where he will travel with SWB Yankees all season as their Starting Catcher. The backstop took the news very hard when he found that Chris Stewart would be the backup catcher and not him.Therefore it took him at least a month before he got into the swing of things. During the 2012 down in Triple-A he played 99 games with .246 average with 2 home runs and 39RBI before getting called up 0n September 1st. On October 2nd 2012, Francisco Cervelli made his second appearance of the season as replacement for Chris Stewart in the top of the 11th innings. Cervelli drew a walk in the bottom of the 12th after being down 0-2 and was the winning runner in the victory over the Red Sox. Come 2013, he going to show the team that he’s an asset to the Yankees as they going forward.
In my opinion, out of the three catchers on the Yankees who would be a starting catcher for the Yankees. I would have to go with energetic backstop Francisco Cervelli.I don’t really trust Stewart as a everyday starter and Romine needs more time in the Minor Leagues Here are my 3 reasons why Cervelli would the good candidate for starting catching.
1. All of 2012, The team did poorly with runners in Scoring position. Cervy’s numbers with RISP are outstanding compare to his other stats. I would rather have somebody hit with RISP than a home run hitter. Home run come and go but if you hit with runners on base, I’ll take it any day of the week.
2.He’s very good the Yankees Pitching staff compare to other catchers on the team. I’m not saying that Austin Romine and Chris Stewart are bad catcher;He just has little more experiences with current pitching right now that’s all.
3. He bring energy and excitement to the team. Everybody on the team has embrace his presence in the clubhouse and on the field with energetic personality and positive energy he brings to the team.
I understand the Yankees need a starting catcher but going out and getting a Free Agent catcher/trading for Joe Mauer is not an option for the the team. Here are my reasons on Napoli, Pierzynski and Mauer.
Mike Napoli: He’s an offensive catcher not a defensive catcher. He more of a DH and First Baseman type of player. He’ll more likely either going back to Texas Rangers or sign with the Boston Red Sox. Plus Napoli is looking for a 4 year deal, it something that the Yankees are not willing to go for since they have young catching talent coming up in the Majors few years down the road.
AJ Pierzynski: AJ will be turning 36 sometime this month. After coming off a great offensive season with the Chicago White Sox, Pierzynski is more likely going back to Chicago anyway. Beside, He no longer a young catcher and when a catcher goes into their mid to late 30’s they performance will begin to decline. I ‘m not all for a catcher who is more likely decline in performance on the field.
Joe Mauer: Joe Mauer is the Twins start catcher. I know a lot of Yankee fans would love to have him on team. He would be a great fit, but not with the current contract with Twins I don’t see being traded to the Yankees. If the Yankees want to trade for Joe Mauer, they have to give up either Ivan Nova or David Phelps and couple of top prospect which may include either Gary Sanchez or JR Murphy who happened to be catchers as well. If the Yankees get Joe Mauer, they are at risk of losing Robinson Cano to Free Agency after 2013 season or going over the $189 Million Threshold come 2014. If Joe Mauer had 2 to 3 years left on his contract then the Yankees can make the run for him. Since he only has 5-6 years left on his Contract and he has a no trade clause not going to happen.
I’m in favor of using In-house catcher for the 2013 season, there nothing wrong with it. I’m very confident in these guys over the Free Agents and Joe Mauer.
LETS GO YANKEES!!!!!!!!!!!!!