If you haven’t heard the news, Jorge Posada was hit in the knee with a pitch yesterday and is unlikely to play today. Since it was his knee and he is a catcher it is possible that he might not even play for the next couple of days. That’s not as big of a deal as it used to be thanks to Francisco Cervelli.
After a couple of cups of coffee in 2008 and 2009, Cervelli won the Yankees backup catcher job out of spring training with virtually no competition. So far this season he’s only filled in during a handful of games, but he has done so admirably.
Here are some of his numbers: 6 games, 18 at bats, 8 hits, 6 RBI’s, .444 batting average, .524 OBP, 1.024 OPS, and a 185 OPS+. Note the sample size though, it is early, but what a wonderful addition he has been so far.
Those numbers are sure to drop as the season goes on and his sample size evens out. Still, he’s now had 117 major league at bats and if he can keep up his 90 OPS+ while continuing to provide stellar defense the Yankees have got themselves quite a backup.
In fact, Cervelli might be better than most teams starting catchers. No he’s not an elite catcher and for right now Posada is in no danger of losing his job, but look around the league. The Mets would love to have Cervelli starting games for them and would probably take him on a multi-year deal even.
How great is it to have a truly talented backup catcher? I’m loving it.