Francisco Cervelli vs. Jorge Posada: Which Yankee Belongs Behind the Plate?
With all due respect to Javier Vazquez, I’m tired of hearing about him and his lack of prosperous pitching.
Give him a break—he’ll eventually get to where he needs to be. Well, at least we hope.
The Yankees did have a three-pitcher rotation in the playoffs this past season, and what did we get? A world championship. They can certainly pull this off again if need be, so Vazquez is not of primary concern at the moment.
Lets talk about something, or rather, some people of more interest to the long-term success of the Yankees this season—catchers Francisco Cervelli and Jorge Posada.
What is going on here? Hip Hip Jorge has been in a slump when it comes to his catching game this season, though he still delivers when at bat. Let’s face it though, fans—he is 38 years old, and his knees are starting to give out. They will only get worse as time goes on.
Cervelli, on the other hand, is at the young age of 24 and can still at least call a good game.
For this reason and more that are to be mentioned, I feel as though Cervelli should be the starting catcher and the veteran Posada should be rotating the DH position with Nick Johnson.
Let’s take a look at the current stats of these guys.
Cervelli has 31AB/3R/12H/0HR/6RBI, a .457 OBP, and a .387 BA. These are incredible stats for being a backup player. While he lacks in the home run department, the Cisco kid makes up for it with a high on-base percentage and a decent number of RBI, half the number of RBI by Jorge.
Posada has 69AB/12R/20H/5HR/12RBI, a .364 OBP, and a .290 BA. Posada has more than two times Cervelli’s at-bats but still has a lower on-base percentage. Now given that Jorge does have a few home runs in there, his batting average is still also lower than Cervelli’s.
You can at least say that Posada has a hell of a better batting average than Johnson, which is why I feel he should be put in the DH slot.
Last week, when Posada was hit by a ball at bat during the series in Baltimore, you could see it in his face that he was not good to go for the remainder of the game. Cervelli stepped in, and all was well from there on out.
A few days ago Posada experienced a mild strain in his calf, forcing him to sit out a few more games. It is possible that he will return later this week to face the Red Sox, but it looks as though Cervelli will be calling a few more games.
It’s funny that during the last two games that the Yankees lost, Posada was catching. In fact, a majority of the Yankee losses this season were games where Posada was the catcher.
Is this a sign?
Cervelli had a stellar game against Baltimore last night with three hits and two runs in only three at-bats, also hitting his first career triple. He was certainly at the center of the game’s defining moments.
Jorge, on the other hand, has not had a memorable game this season other than during the earlier days in April.
In general, Cervelli calls better games than Posada. The Yankee starting pitchers have better averages, which results in more wins, with Cervy behind the plate. During last night’s game, A.J. Burnett struck out eight batters with Cervelli catching.
Cervelli's youth, ability to handle the ball, quickness, and bat give him the reputation of the better catcher in my eyes.
Cervy also provides versatility to the game, which Jorge does not do. When Alex Rodriguez needed a day off, Cervelli stepped in and played third base.
In case you did not know, Cervelli played third base during spring training in order to expand his versatility during this season. He has demonstrated to the coaching staff that he will be active when needed in more than one situation. He can catch, he can bat with consistency, and he can play third base. What more can a team ask for?
A final difference between the two—motivation.
Nothing negative can be said in this category about Jorge, but there is a difference between a veteran who has a family and has won five World Series championships and a young 24-year-old who has one ring and is just getting his life and career started.
Burnett said that Cervelli’s on-field emotion often reminds him of how much fun the game can be. “He came to the mound a couple of times, and I can’t help but smile at what he says.”
You can see the difference in the amount of energy exerted from Posada and Cervelli. Young players like Cervelli, Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes, and Ramiro Pena are the future of the franchise. Fans and management need to see that these guys are enjoying the game because they are there to win.
I adore veteran Yankee greats such as the Core Four (Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera) and others who have been in the game for a long time now such as A-Rod. These guys have all had outstanding careers, but the sun will set on their times when the younger players will be in their primes.
These players have all had their fun and have provided astounding competition to the Yankees organization over the many years that they’ve played together. I’m not saying that I want to see them go. I do feel that they still play a great game, but they are not as energetic as they used to be.
I do feel that the future of the Yankee organization is in good hands with players like Cervelli and the others mentioned before.
What do you think, fans? Should management keep the wins coming with Cervelli behind the plate or allow Posada to take over during his last years with the Yanks?
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