What Cervelli’s Broken Foot Means for the Yankees & Montero

New York Yankees Jesus MonteroSince I’ve been slow to post this news, you’ve probably already heard by now that Yankees backup catcher Francisco Cervelli‘s MRI came back and it has been determined that he has broken his foot. He will now need to wear a protective boot for at least four weeks and could miss a total of six to eight weeks with this injury.

This is a big deal because it means that Cervelli won’t be ready until nearly May. It’s possible that he could come back early, but not likely since as a catcher he really needs his foot to be 100 percent before he can participate in any catching drills. By the time he is able to do that it’ll be like spring training all over again for him.

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE THE YANKEES? Probably with Jesus Montero as their backup catcher. Both Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman have said that this doesn’t change anything for Jorge Posada, who will still be the every day DH.

The Yankees won’t just give the backup job to Montero though. Austin Romine and Gustavo Molina are both in camp and will at least get a chance to prove that they can handle the job. Realistically though they are both longshots, especially Molina whom I would categorize as an extreme longshot that the Yankees would only go with if they thought Russell Martin was completely recovered from surgery and Montero and Romine both needed to play everyday in the minors.

That’s not going to happen though. Montero will be the backup, Romine will start the year in Triple-A, and who knows where Molina will end up, but it won’t be in the Bronx.

AS FOR CERVELLI: He’ll wait four weeks and then he’ll begin his rehab. May sounds like an appropriate time for him to be able to make it back to the Bronx, but this injury could mean the end of his Yankees career.

If he is able to return or not really depends on Montero and how the Yankees feel like he’s progressing as the backup. First of all, Girardi broke Posada in gradually back in 1997 and seems to like the idea of doing the same with Montero this season. So it’s likely that once he’s on the team he’ll be on the team for good. If he is really struggling though, either at the plate or behind it, they could send him back to the minors for a little more seasoning.

That would probably just be a temporary move though. I could see him getting sent down in the middle of May if he’s struggling and then he would likely be called up as soon as the Yankees found a team interested in trading for Cervelli. So if Montero struggles, he could go back to the minors until the Yankees deal Cervelli. Or if Montero doesn’t struggle, Cervelli will have to play in the minors until the Yankees find a trading partner.

Either way, Montero will get a chance to be the backup catcher right away and Cervelli is probably traded by the deadline. The wildcard here is Martin. If he struggles coming off of two surgeries, the Yankees could deal him and go with Montero as the starter and Cervelli as the backup. That seems like an unlikely scenario though.

What do you think? Is this the end for Cervelli? Is Montero ready to be on the big league roster? Or will the Yankees do something unforseen like call up Molina instead?

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.

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6 Responses to What Cervelli’s Broken Foot Means for the Yankees & Montero

  1. David K. says:

    This could work out great for the Yankees, as they probably would have gone with Cervelli as the back up and sent Montero to the minors. If Montero is anything close to decent defensively, then he should be the starter. Russell Martin's going to have to prove to me that he is still healthy enough, and good enough, to be the starter. It takes catchers a long time to get them in sync with their pitchers. So there's no time to waste getting Montero working with this pitching staff. This is a playoff caliber team. Unless Martin really shows something this spring, we shouldn't even bother wasting time with Martin as the starter. If Martin gets hurt again or can't hack it, Cervelli can be the backup.

  2. The Pirate says:

    If you have an opportunity to watch Montero calling in a game, please note that he is way back in sync with the pither. During the spring training MLBTV games transmission,you could see asking for inside pitch on sluggers players and outside on mediocre power hitters. See how many HR's the opposition have during the games he it's the catcher. If the Yankees want to be competitive this year start praying that Martin do the the job, because you can not count with Posada anymore, Girardi and Cahman have done a poor human relation work with Posada similar to the treatment to Bernie Williams. Petitte was next but he quick on time, now it's Jeter and Rivera on their list.Keep looking the Club House problems this season.

    • What your describing, pitch location, is largely determined before the game by the manager and pitching coach. Montero has discretion, but patterns are determined pregame.

      Also, I thought that the Yankees have actually handled Posada's situation pretty well. They determined early on that they weren't going to use him as their catcher anymore and have vocalized that very well and right from the start. I'm not sure what more you want them to do in that situation.

    • Mike S. says:

      Sentiment doesn't win championships. It sounds heartless, but keeping around aging players past their primes just so they can achieve individual milestones doesn't help contending teams.

      If a player doesn't realize that his time is up, and hangs on only to have management tell him it's time (rather than face the facts and look in the mirror himself) then it's not management's fault. They have to put the best product on the field, and if an icon isn't the best product anymore, then so be it.

      Unfortunately, we have seen many cases of players who hung on too long. Prime examples are Willie Mays and Steve Carlton.

  3. Bronx Knight says:

    Arrivederci, Cervelli. Tough break for you, but now it's "hasta la see ya."

    This could turn out well for Cervelli if he gets traded to a small-market team and ends up with more playing time than he would've had with the Yanks.

    Having said that, I have no idea who would have a need for a roughly replacement-value, Cervelli-type catcher.

  4. Bronx Knight says:

    With Cervelli gone, the smoke is clearing, and this is very reminiscent of 1997 Girardi/Posada. Montero can get seasoned this year serving as back-up to Martin, hopefully with mentoring from Posada. I would also think that Montero can have some use as a bat off the bench.

    Let's hope that Montero is everything he has been projected to be.

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