Results tagged ‘ Francisco Cervelli ’

Considering the bunt sign

Joe Girardi provided an interesting view into the window of his thinking regarding the sixth inning Friday, where Jorge Posada was on second base and Curtis Granderson was on first base with nobody out against Brett Cecil.

Cervelli hit into a double play and the Yankees would be turned away on Brett Gardner’s pop-up, and Girardi was asked if he’d considered flashing the bunt sign for Cervelli instead of letting him swing away.

“That’s a legitimate question. You have a slow runner at second and you have a lefty on the mound who’s falling off toward third base. It’s got to be a perfect bunt. Cervi’s got two hits off of this guy. Lefties are hitting .180, there’s a left-hander behind him, the wind is blowing in. A sac fly is going to be difficult.”

Granderson in center; Cervelli has hamstring strain

Two quick notes before I hit the highway and head over to Blue Jays camp:

The Yankees have their outfield alignment set for Opening Night and the beginning of the 2010 season, officially deciding that Curtis Granderson will play center field and Brett Gardner will play left field.

Though the moves had been expected for some time, Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced that his choices had been set on Thursday, sending both players to start in their respective positions in a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla. 

“They both did a very nice job in both spots,” Girardi said. “Grandy has played a lot of center field in his career, and so has Gardy. We just decided that we were going to go with Grandy in center, try not to move him around and put him in one spot.”

Also…

Backup catcher Francisco Cervelli has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 (mild) left hamstring strain and may not play for the remainder of Spring Training.

Girardi said Thursday that Cervelli will be continually re-evaluated and is listed as day-to-day. With Opening Day approaching on Sunday, the Yankees will have to hope that the pinching sensation in Cervelli’s left leg can abate quickly.

“Right now, if I was to guess, he is not a DL guy,” Girardi said. “But we may not play him the rest of Spring Training.”

Cervelli felt something tweak in his left hamstring during Tuesday’s home game against the Blue Jays and was sent for a precautionary MRI on Wednesday, which revealed the strain.

Should Cervelli begin the season on the disabled list, it is possible that Mike Rivera – a veteran non-roster invitee who also battled a hamstring issue this spring – could head north with the club for Opening Night on Sunday at Fenway Park.

“I want to be there,” Cervelli said. “I think I will be there.”

Pleading the fifth no problem for Hughes

Taking the mound as the confirmed fifth starter felt a whole lot like his previous spring starts for Phil Hughes, as it turned out. The Yankees gave Hughes the ball for 71 pitches on Friday and he burned through them in three-plus innings, but he was pitching on three days’ rest and felt as though he was only missing by a little bit.

“I didn’t really feel like I was wild,” said Hughes, who walked four, threw two wild pitches and struck out five. “It was just adjustments I needed to make. Overall, I felt pretty good.”

Hughes liked testing his mettle and his changeup against the tough Phillies lineup, which serves as a good indication of where he is with regards to competition. His next start should come on Wednesday against the Twins, and after that it’s still up in the air.

He might be selected to pitch the Yankees’ fifth game on April 10 at Tampa Bay, but probably not because CC Sabathia would already be on an extra day of rest then.

The Yankees are planning to go Sabathia-A.J. Burnett-Andy Pettitte-Javier Vazquez in the first four days of camp, but need to further discuss their planning with regard to Hughes because of all the days off the Yankees enjoy in April.

We’re back at you bright and early on Saturday morning, so here are some quick notes before we hit the road:

  • Amaury Sanit was sent to Minor League camp after the game. Sanit was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in six spring appearances, spanning 5 1/3 innings, with no walks and six strikeouts. The Yankees are down to 32 players in camp.
  • The Yankees could wait until April 1 or April 2 to sort out the last touches of their bullpen mix, Joe Girardi said.
  • Marcus Thames stroked a solid single in his first at-bat off Jamie Moyer, and the Yankees want to see more of his hitting against left-handed hurlers. Expect him to be in the lineup Saturday as the Yankees see the Tigers’ Nate Robertson in Lakeland.
  • Mike Rivera (right hamstring) will not take batting practice until Monday. He tweaked his leg running the bases in an intrasquad game this week.
  • Francisco Cervelli will have an excused absence from camp on Saturday and Sunday.

Cervelli: “It’s going to happen”

Francisco Cervelli said this morning that he’s feeling a lot better – no headaches or dizziness stemming from that fastball he took to the helmet on Sunday afternoon. He said that he’d catch a bullpen today and hit a little, and be ready to play on Friday.

“It’s going to happen,” Cervelli said. “You’ve got to stand up and keep playing baseball.”

Cervelli met with a neurologist yesterday for about 20 minutes and went through a battery of reflex tests. He guessed that this was his third or fourth concussion, also recalling a 2005 Gulf Coast League collision at home plate in addition to a November play in the Venezuelan Winter League.

“Three or four – I don’t remember,” Cervelli said. “I think a lot of the hits in my head have made me not remember everything.”

  • Chan Ho Park tossed his live batting practice session this morning.

Cisco and Nick OK; Molina, Mo and more

Some final notes from George M. Steinbrenner Field, where the sun is going down and the sprinklers are giving home plate a good soaking …

  • I don’t remember how I celebrated my 24th birthday, but anything has to be better than taking a fastball off the noggin. Thankfully, Francisco Cervelli’s CT scans came back negative, but he’ll take it slow getting back to duty. A doctor visit is set for tomorrow, with a neurologist on Monday, and the earliest he could play is Tuesday. Bet that Joe Girardi gives Cervelli the Nick Johnson treatment and gives him a few more days beyond that, though.
  • Speaking of Johnson, he took 50 swings of BP in the cages today and felt good. He’d play tomorrow if the Yankees had a home game, but they’re playing in Fort Myers, and it makes no sense to put a guy with a tweaked back on a 2+ hour bus ride. But in case you’re keeping score at home, yes, Johnson will have missed four games because he wore the wrong pair of shoes.
  • I didn’t get to it in a news story, but Jose Molina (“The Panda”) was here and spoke to reporters a little bit about why he and A.J. Burnett seemed to click so well last season. One thing Molina said was that communication was a key – “I talked to him about a million times,” he said.

“There’s a lot of pitchers like that,” Molina said. “He’s one of those guys that can be pitching a nice game, seven innings and no runs or anything, and then he gives up a home run. Then he’s just lost. That’s when you realize you need to talk to him.”

  • One final thought that I had this morning and chuckled about, promising to blog today — the day I was part of Mariano Rivera’s ‘security entourage.’ When I was in college and living in Rockland County, N.Y., I spent a few summers working in a sports memorabilia store at the Palisades Center mall, and one day we had Mo come in for an autograph signing.

The two hour session went by rather uneventfully, but what I was laughing about was the few minutes after the signing, when Mo needed to get back to his car (maybe the Yankees had a night game; I don’t remember). I guess he didn’t have anyone with him, so I was asked to escort him — must have been my intimidating plastic nametag — out to the parking lot.

I wish I could tell you that I beat down some nasty looking thugs trying to inflict harm on No. 42, but it all went about as smoothly as a three-pitch inning. We ducked out a side entrance near the Macaroni Grill trash dumpsters, where a few of the waiters were on their smoke breaks, and found his SUV parked somewhere nearby.

On the way, I dug into my pocket and pulled out a baseball for Mariano, and asked him to show me how he throws his cutter. I mean, I’m 20 years old, I might never get this chance again, right?

So he wraps his fingers around the ball, shows me his Hall of Fame grip, and then flips it back to me with these words: “Now don’t forget.” Don’t worry, Mo, I still haven’t. (By the way, I tried throwing it with almost no discernable results. Lesson of the day – I’m not Mariano Rivera.)

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