Cervelli's spirit and bat have returned to the Bronx
In 2009, his first season with significant playing time at the big-league level, Francisco Cervelli hit .298 and threw out 43 percent of potential base stealers. His competitive spirit and heart won over Yankees fans and it looked as though he'd "stick" with the club.
In 2010 and 2011 his bat remained solid (hitting for a .269 average), but behind the plate his performance plummeted as he could only manage to gun down 14 percent of the runners attempting to steal.
That resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre in 2012, where the catcher worked on his defense and showed up at spring training this season ready to show the Yankees he was prepared to win the starting role as the backstop.
His play impressed manager Joe Girardi as he threw out runners at a 50 percent rate. That was enough to make him the primary catcher for the team in 2013.
To date, he has proved that his preseason performance was not an aberration. He is currently third on the team in average (.353), second in RBI (six), first in on-base percentage (.476) and first in hitting with runners in scoring position (.750 average).
Behind the plate only one runner has attempted to steal, and Cervelli threw him out.
It looks as though the 27-year-old has put his struggles behind him and rekindled the talent that brought him to the Bronx.