Results tagged ‘ Russell Martin ’
Francisco Cervelli is considered the early front-runner for the Yankees’ starting catching job in 2013, nudging ahead of Chris Stewart, Austin Romine and Bobby Wilson as the club prepares to head to Spring Training.
The Yankees insist that it’s more likely than not that they’ve already got their Opening Day catcher on the roster, but plenty can change between now and Opening Day, as Cervelli learned the hard way last season. It’s fair to say he wasn’t exactly planning on spending so much time in places like Rochester and Batavia.
With that in mind, he told the Newark Star-Ledger’s Jeff Bradley in a telephone interview that he didn’t celebrate much when Russell Martin inked a two-year, $17 million deal with the Pirates.
“I was happy for Russell because it was a good deal for him,” Cervelli said. “But for myself, I’m not going to make any conclusions. I know I have a lot of work to do, and I am going to remain very focused on that work.
“The way I’m thinking, I’ve changed a little bit because of what happened last year,” Cervelli continued. “But I’m very positive and looking forward to being the starting catcher, but I don’t think too much about it. I keep my expectations low because a lot of things can happen. But I really want it and this is my dream. It’s always been my dream.”
And just because, this seems like a good time to drop in this Cervelli classic from the spring:
Inbetween practice jumps down the side of the Landmark Building in Stamford, Conn. on Friday, as preparation for the city’s upcoming Heights and Lights festival, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman responded to Russell Martin’s decision to ink a reported two-year, $17 million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Cashman said that the Yankees had interest in retaining Martin this spring (offering him a three-year, $20 million deal, according to reports at the time), but the Yankees seemed to recognize that Martin’s departure was a very real possibility as they headed into the winter. Cashman said the Yankees never got around to making Martin an offer after the season, instead choosing to focus on pitching.
We will have full coverage on MLB.com later today, but here are some quick reaction quotes from the Yankees GM, who said the team may very well have their starting catcher on the roster right now in Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, Austin Romine or Eli Whiteside:
On the aforementioned group of replacement catchers:
“Listen, without a doubt, in terms of catching and throwing and running games, I’d line those guys up with some of the best catchers in the game on the defensive side, game planning and handling a pitching staff. The bats, a couple of guys have the potential to become everyday catchers because of their bats, if they develop. Other guys really are more backup oriented.”
On the blow of losing Martin to Pittsburgh:
“I like Russell Martin. I’m a big Russell Martin fan. But ultimately we have a lot of holes to fill and we have to be very careful how we spend our money. The market for Russell was aggressive, as it should have been, and again our focus has been our pitching. After that, I’ve got a lot of different holes to fill. We need to be careful how we allocate our remaining funds to make sure that we can fill all the holes. Now, I feel fortunate to have had Russell Martin for the two years that we had him, and I’m sorry to see him go. The Pirates got a really good one, but at the same time, I think we’ll find ways to cushion the blow like we always try to do.”
On if Martin’s departure creates another hole to fill:
“No, when he left for free agency, that was the hole. That hole has been there. This isn’t something that caught us off guard. It’s something we were very well aware of, and the agent was very honest with us, as well as the player, Russell. The best shot we took at retaining him was in Spring Training, and after that, obviously it became more difficult and now he’s moving on.”
On if the Yankees were willing to offer the three-year, $20 million deal again:
“No, we were prepared to do that in Spring Training. We never made an offer. … We never got to that point.”
On if the Yankees will play on the high-end catching market:
“At the end of the day, we have holes to fill. In the catching area, we do have placeholders there. We have people that can handle and run the game. The offense is an area that currently what the rest of our roster provides will be a downgrade from what we’re used to, but the most important aspect — listen, when Girardi was catching for us, he was a defense oriented catcher. We played him at the time ahead of a young Posada and an older Leyritz. They were more offensive oriented at those times, so it’s not like we haven’t gone with defensive oriented first situation. We transitioned from Mike Stanley to Girardi while Posada was being cultivated and growing still. We had Girardi, we had gone away from Leyritz who was offensive oriented. I only point that out because it’s not the first time we’ve been in this position, but it’s an acknowledgement that the offense that is provided off the roster at that position right now certainly isn’t what we’ve been accustomed to. The defense is special in our opinion, no matter what name we’re going after. If you want to throw Stewart’s name, Cervelli’s name, or Whiteside, who we claimed off waivers but recently designated. Romine is young and up and coming and had a very good Fall League; a lot of good things coming. He just missed a full year of Triple-A development, unfortunately. He’s back on track, he’s healthy. At the very least, that’s our fall back, but we are going to have to pursue a lot of areas on this club — the bench, right field, potentially catching. Maybe not. It’s possible that our catchers are right here on this roster, right now. That is very well possible and more likely than not, to be honest. We’ll see. Patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait.”
Three members of the 2012 Yankees have been nominated as finalists for Rawlings Gold Glove Awards, as voted upon by Major League managers and coaches — Russell Martin, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira.
The winners will be announced during the 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Award® Announcement Show on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, at 9pm ET on ESPN2.
Martin is listed among the catchers with the Tigers’ Alex Avila, the White Sox’s A.J. Pierzynski and the Orioles’ Matt Wieters.
Teixeira’s competition is at first base with Adrian Gonzalez, nominated for his time with the Red Sox, and the Royals’ Eric Hosmer.
Cano will contend at second base with Boston’s Dustin Pedroia and the Mariners’ Dustin Ackley.
The Yankees had a conversation with Russell Martin around the All-Star break, telling him to pitch his offensive numbers out the window and start over. His stat lines were too badly damaged by a sluggish start to be of much use, and so the Yankees wanted Martin to hit the reset button.
The back of Martin’s baseball card will not be pretty next year, no matter what happens in September, but a hot month just might help the Yankees when they need it most. Martin’s three-run homer last night keyed a five-run fourth inning for New York and the backstop is showing that he has stored up some good luck from the first five months of the season.
“I’m a lot more comfortable,” Martin said. “Really, I feel good. It’s hard to describe. I feel like I’m seeing the ball well, feel like I’m taking good swings. Offspeed pitches, fastballs, whatever – I’m just seeing it.”
Martin said that the first five months of the season were a grind, but he feels like he has been swinging the bat better for the last month or so. He added that his body and the calendar are telling him two different things, which is a good thing for the Yankees.
“I’m not really worn out,” Martin said. “I’ve got give credit to Joe [Girardi] for resting me adequately and got to tip your cap to Stewie [Chris Stewart]. He’s been doing a great job when he’s behind the plate. I feel great. It doesn’t feel like September at all. I’m used to feeling a lot worse than I do right now actually.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi clashed with home plate umpire Tony Randazzo in the third inning of the New York’s 7-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Monday, displeased with the strike zone Randazzo was calling for starting pitchers Justin Verlander and Ivan Nova.
“I didn’t care for some of the strikes early in the game, and we were talking back and forth and he looked at me and stared at me,” Girardi said. “I don’t get it. When the inning’s over, walk the other way. It’s pretty simple.”
Asked if he was surprised that Randazzo allowed Girardi to stay in the game despite what seemed to be a heated exchange, Girardi replied, “I don’t know. Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t think I really said anything that wrong.”
Yankees catcher Russell Martin – who has had his own issues with umpires this year – declined to criticize Randazzo’s zone.
“It looked like was a bit generous, but he was pretty consistent on both sides,” Martin said. “Verlander just seemed like he was hitting those spots more than we were.”
Girardi said that Randazzo walked down the first-base line after the top of the third inning and stared into the Yankees dugout. Bench coach Tony Pena moved to hold Girardi back, but Girardi broke free.
“I threw Tony off me pretty easy. If I want to go, Tony’s not going to hold me back,” he said.