Tag: Francisco Cervelli

Francisco Cervelli Contract: Latest News, Rumors on Negotiations with Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli could become a free agent following the 2016 season, and there are already rumors regarding his contract status.

Continue for updates.

Cervelli Would Reportedly Consider Skipping Free Agency for Pittsburgh Extension

Wednesday, Jan. 27  

According to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cervelli “is waiting for the club to begin dialogue regarding a contract extension” and would be open to remaining with the team.

The Pirates and Cervelli already avoided arbitration this offseason with a one-year deal, and he is set to make $3.5 million in 2016, per Spotrac. Sawchik added more context to the situation:

Even though Cervelli is only nine months away from free agency and is expected to rival Baltimore’s Matt Wieters as the top catcher available next winter, Cervelli would consider foregoing the open market if the Pirates offered a three-year extension offer worth roughly $13 million per season, according to a source.

The Pirates acquired Cervelli via trade from the New York Yankees in exchange for relief pitcher Justin Wilson before the 2015 campaign. It didn’t draw many headlines at the time because Cervelli was largely a backup catcher, but he turned in a career season for the Pirates and helped replace Russell Martin, who signed with the Toronto Blue Jays during the offseason.

Cervelli hit .295 with career highs in home runs (seven) and RBI (43). He also played 130 games, which was a dramatic increase over his previous career high of 93 in 2010. He was perhaps most valuable behind the plate and actually led all major league catchers in runs saved above average with his pitch framing, per StatCorner.com.

It was a far cry from the catcher who only appeared in 69 total games during the prior three seasons for the Yankees because of various injuries.

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington commented on any potential contract negotiations, per Sawchik:

We do not discuss negotiations — potential or active — publicly. We like Cervelli a lot and would welcome the chance to have him remain a Pirate in the event we are able to find a contract that makes sense for both the player and club.

We are also fortunate to have two quality catching prospects that are near major league ready in case we are not able to reach common financial ground.

Those prospects—Reese McGuire and Elias Diaz—add another layer to any possible Cervelli extension. According to MLB.com, McGuire was the No. 6 Pirates prospect and Diaz was No. 14 prospect before the 2015 season.

Their presence makes this an interesting choice for the Pirates. On the one hand, if Cervelli—who will turn 30 before the 2016 season—can stay healthy and continue to produce like he did in 2015, he would likely be worth the extension. However, that would also theoretically block the path to the majors for the next couple of years for McGuire and Diaz (at least as regular catchers) and perhaps stunt their growth.

Pittsburgh also has to take into account the injury risk given Cervelli’s track record, even though he did stay healthy and produce in 2015.

The Pirates are in a loaded National League Central and made the playoffs last season alongside the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals partially because of Cervelli’s consistency. Now they have to decide whether he is worth keeping around for the foreseeable future.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Pittsburgh Pirates Players Who Could Have Breakout Seasons in 2015

The Pittsburgh Pirates have gotten key contributions from a variety of young players over the last two seasons, making it to the playoffs both years.  

While these players have had solid seasons, they have not nearly reached their potential.  In 2015, however, that could be a different story. 

Let’s take a look at three players who could have breakout seasons next year for the Pirates.  


Starling Marte, Left Field

In 2007 and at the age of 19, Starling Marte was drafted by the Pirates as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic.

Marte made his major league debut in 2012, batting .257 with five home runs and 17 RBI in just 47 games for the Pirates.  

A year later, he played in 135 games, batting .280 with 12 home runs and helping his team make it back to the postseason for the first time since 1992.  

This past season, his numbers continued to increase, as he batted .291 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI in 135 games.  

There is no question that Marte will be the starting left fielder heading into the 2015 regular season, but Marte still has not had the type of season he is capable of.  

Given the fact that his numbers continue to climb season by season, one would have to believe that Marte is primed for a big season in 2015.  It would not be surprising to see Marte hit between 16-20 home runs and drive in 70-85 runs, which the Pirates would gladly take.  


Gregory Polanco, Right Field

This is more of a long shot than the prediction about Marte, as Gregory Polanco still has a player in front of him on the Pirates depth chart in Travis Snider.  

Still, if he has a solid spring training, there is no reason Polanco should not go into the regular season patrolling right field for the Pirates.  After all, he was rated the No. 1 prospect in the Pirates’ farm system by Baseball America heading into last season.

Polanco played in 89 games for the Pirates in 2014, blasting seven home runs and collecting 33 RBI in 277 at-bats.  Polanco is capable of hitting for an average much higher than .235, which he showed toward the end of the regular season and when he first came up in June, hitting .288 that month.  

Could Polanco have a breakout season in 2015?  Absolutely, but he would have to be given the opportunity to start the majority of the games for the Pirates in right field.  


Francisco Cervelli, Catcher

In the seven seasons he has spent in the big leagues, Francisco Cervelli has served primarily as a backup catcher for the New York Yankees.  

That could have all changed for him, however, when he was traded by the Yankees to the Pirates in November.  

The Pirates knew they would not be able to bring back catcher Russell Martin as he was seeking a deal too expensive, so the organization went out and acquired a good catcher with potential in Cervelli.  

There are many teams in the majors that Cervelli could have been a legitimate starter on throughout the last seven seasons.  To his misfortune, he was a member of a team that already had a franchise catcher (first Jorge Posada, then Martin and finally Brian McCann last season).  

In 250 career games, Cervelli owns a batting average of .278 and a .348 on-base percentage, which are both very respectable averages for a catcher.  

He played in a career-high 93 games in 2010 for the Yankees, batting .271 with 38 RBI.  Last season, he batted .301 with two home runs and 13 RBI in 146 at-bats.  

It looks as if Cervelli will finally be given the opportunity to serve as the primary catcher for a big league team in 2015, and given his success in short bodies of work each season, he could be the next Pirates player to have a breakout season in 2015.  


Statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Jorge Posada Told He’s Out As New York Yankees Starting Catcher

Courtesy of Yankees ‘n More
Our long national nightmare is over. According to multiple reports, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman informed Jorge Posada that he will be the team’s designated hitter in 2011—the final season of his contract.

This information should not come as a surprise to anybody who has paid even casual attention to the Yankees these past two years. Defensively, Posada has degenerated and become an horrific catcher. He blocks virtually nothing (be they balls in the dirt or the plate with a throw coming in) and his arm is an absolute rag.

However, Posada can still hit, his bat is needed in the lineup and the idea of risking the loss of his offense an injury suffered while catching makes no sense at all.

Speculation has been that Posada would slide to DH next season, but the first solid word of the move came from the veteran’s wife, via her Twitter account on Tuesday.

“Yes, Jorge will DH next year,” tweeted Laura Posada.

Wednesday morning brought more in the way of details, via this New York Post report.

The Post reports that Posada was informed of the decision during a face-to-face meeting with Cashman in Manhattan this week. Cashman did tell Posada to “prepare to catch” this offseason. It figures that Posada will catch some next year, but the team is obviously headed in a new direction at backstop.

The plan, according to today’s Post report and multiple rumors, is to have Jesus Montero take over as the Yankees‘ starting catcher and start about 100 games behind the dish next season. Behind Montero, there will be a spring training battle between Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine.

Questions remain about Montero’s defensive ability and his future as a catcher, but the Yankees are ready to start getting answers from the 20 year old on all those issues. And honestly, how bad could Montero be behind the plate? You can’t be a worse defensive catcher than Posada in 2010.

For his part, Posada is said to be OK with the decision. Earlier this week, Posada had said he just wanted the team to be upfront with him regarding his role.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Jorge Posada Out, Jesus Montero In, and Other Moves Yankee Fans Want for 2011

By Eric Marmon

Interesting read in the NY Post today, which took at a poll on their official website asking fans of the New York Yankees who they want back in pinstripes in 2011. The most noticeable was, when asked who they wanted to start the majority of games behind the plate for the Bronx Bombers next season, Yankee lifer Jorge Posada received just 32.5 percent of the vote, while Triple-A phenom Jesus Montero received 67.5 percent.

New York’s displeasure with Posada doesn’t come as a complete shock. Of the Yankees “Big Four”, the catcher seems to be the least beloved. And the fact that he seemed physically unable to throw out base-stealers by the start of fall (a major necessity with guys like CC and AJ pitching), combined with his drop in production and 39-years-of-age make Jorge an easy target for fan frustration.

That being said, Montero is a complete unknown. Sure, he batted .289 with 21 home runs in Triple-A last season, but come on… the guy isn’t even old enough to drink yet. There is ZERO reason to believe he is ready to replace Posada. He’s kind of like how Brett Ratliff was viewed for the Jets a few years back.

Does Jorge Posada need to be replaced? Yes, if not in 2011, then beyond. But is the 20-year-old Jesus Montero ready for the role? Probably not. He’ll get a chance in spring training to compete for a spot on the 25-man roster, but it just feels like a guy his age would probably be best suited with more time in the minors.

Sorry fans. Look for the Yanks to either go with a Francisco Cervelli/Jorge Posada platoon for the majority of 2011, or to sign a veteran catcher to help Jorge out until Montero has fully developed.

Some other interesting things from the poll:

– While 87.1 percent of voters thought Derek Jeter should be the starting shortstop, voters in a separate poll weren’t really sure whether the Yankee captain should come back at all. Of nearly 16,500 voters, over 20 percent said the Yankees should let Jeter walk. [Just a reminder: this was an informal, unofficial poll on NYPost.com. Mets fans (and everyone else) could vote too, which might explain the anti-DJ results]

– The closest vote was over who the primary designated hitter should be, with free-agent-to-be Adam Dunn getting 24.4 percent, Lance Berkman getting 19.3 percent, and guys like Marcus Thames, Hideki Matsui, Victor Martinez and—believe it or not—Manny Ramirez all within 10 percent of each other.

– Gardner not needed. When asked about center field, 86 percent of voters took Curtis Granderson over Brett Gardner, and when asked about right field, 57.4 percent wanted free-agent Carl Crawford over the speedy Gardner.

-And if you’re looking for one more sign that the 2009 honeymoon is long over for AJ Burnett, more fan votes went in favor of Javier Vazquez being the fifth starter over AJ.


This article originally appeared on The NY Sports Digest. If its off-beat and it’s about the Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Giants, Jets, Islanders, or Rangers, than The Digest is the spot to get it. Stop with the mega-sites and get a feel for the true pulse of New York at www.NYSportsDigest.com

Possibly Related Posts:


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Victor Martinez To New York Yankees Makes Too Much Sense To Be Ignored

Courtesy of Yankees ‘n More

You hear a lot of names mentioned as possible offseason targets for the New York Yankees. Cliff Lee, of course, gets more attention than anybody else, and rightly so. Then there are guys like soon-to-be free agent outfielders Carl Crawford and Jason Werth. Even names like Zack Greinke and Johnny Damon have received some play.

But one you never hear that might make a lot of sense is catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez. This is 100 percent pure speculation, but here’s why we think Victor Martinez-to-the-Bronx makes sense.

1) The Yankees are, according to multiple reports, ready to move Jorge Posada to more of a full-time DH role in 2011, which happens to be the final year of his current contract.Yankees ‘n More

2) Most people who follow this team believe the Yankees will attempt to break in top prospect Jesus Montero as their major league catcher of the future next season. If they do, they will need something more substantial than Francisco Cervelli in reserve.

3) Brian Cashman and the Yankees LOVES them some switch hitters (Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, Lance Berkman, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams…) and Martinez is one of the very best in the game today.

4) While Martinez is not a great defensive catcher by any stretch, he’s at least as good as Posada is, and the Yankees obviously don’t emphasize defense at catcher. If they did, Posada would have been replaced long ago.

5) Martinez also gives the team some versatility/insurance at first base in the event of Teixeira being forced to again miss time with injuries or the like.

6) If 2011 marks the final season in pinstripes for Jorge Posada (and you have to think there is a good chance it does), Martinez transitions nicely into a fulltime, switch-hitting designated hitter role starting in 2012, when one would certainly hope at least one of the truck load of talented catchers in the system is ready to take over full time.

7) Signing Martinez takes him away from the Boston Red Sox, leaving them with another hole to fill.

8) Martinez was the regular catcher for both CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee when all three were together in Cleveland.

No doubt the Yankees are going after Cliff Lee with both barrels this offseason. And we would not be the least bit surprised to see them make a run at Carl Crawford, as well.

But don’t go to sleep on Victor Martinez. You might wake up one Winter morning to find out he just signed a contract with the New York Yankees.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Joe Girardi’s Crucial Mathematical Error Costs Yankees Game

Picture this: a game lasts over four hours, uses 41 players, features 374 pitches, has two blown saves, and ends in a walk-off hit by pitch—by Mariano Rivera.

Welcome to YankeesRangers, September 11 (and part of 12), 2010

It was a peculiar game to say the least, and it was no surprise that such an odd game was perpetuated by a series of unorthodox managerial moves. This game featured moves as simple as a pinch hitter, to as questionable as a 3-0 sac bunt.

Back up. A 3-0 sac bunt? In the top of the ninth inning, already leading by one run, the Yankees had a runner on second and nobody out. Eager to get the run in, Yankees manager Joe Girardi called for a sac bunt, even after the count had been worked to 3-0.

As if this doesn’t sound ridiculous enough, it should be pointed out that it was the first sac bunt on a 3-0 count in all of Major League Baseball this season. 

Why is it such a ridiculous thing to do, and thus so rare? To start, the league combined has a .413 batting average and a .893 slugging percentage on a 3-0 count, so sac bunting becomes just a waste.

Furthermore, if you look deeper, sac bunting with a runner on second and nobody out not only destroys the at-bat, but also destroys the inning.

Based on run expectancy data collected from 1999-2002, the Yankees had a run expectancy of 1.189 when they had a runner on second and nobody out. After the sac bunt, now with a runner on third and one out, their run expectancy actually decreased to .983.

So, what Girardi thought was helping his team actually sunk them in two ways: he destroyed a great chance to get a hit with a 3-0 count, and he destroyed a great chance to score with a runner on second and nobody out.

Thus, the Yankees failed to score and lost the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. 

E-mail me at jess@jesskcoleman.com, follow me on Twitter and Digg.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Yankee Stadium: The Place That Converts Yankee Watchers Into Fans

On Sunday, I made my second journey to the new Yankee Stadium with my fiance, Kate, and watched the New York Yankees lose, 7-3, to the Toronto Blue Jays.

For the second time in two years, Kate and I enjoyed ourselves at one of my new favorite places on earth.
Officially, I am not a Yankee’s fan but the more I watch the AL East’s first-place team and the more I visit Yankee Stadium, the more I like them.
The reasons have nothing to do with their HUGE payroll or because they win a lot more than they lose (however, it’s a nice feeling to cheer for a team that wins because I am used to losing franchises).
Here are the REAL reasons that my interest in the Yankees is peaking.
First, the players.
The Yankee players who have been signed via free agency–C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher (who was a big favorite of mine way before becoming a Yankee), Lance Berkman (a long time Houston Astros’ player who now has a chance to finally win a World Series ring) and Curtis Granderson–have increased my interest by about 35 percent.
I followed these players closely before they were Yankees and now, since they’re on the same team, it makes it easier to root for them.
Home-grown, likable players like: Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Francisco Cervelli, Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner make it hard not to get behind the Bronx Bombers.
Yes, there are players such as: Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and A.J. Burnett who are easy to dislike but the likable player trump the unlikable players by sizable ratio.
Second, the fans.
In the past five seasons, I’ve discovered a truth about Yankee fans.
They know baseball better than any fan base in baseball (I am sure an argument can be made for St. Louis Cardinal fans but I’m not around a lot of redbird supporters. I just go by what I witness).
Unlike the Boston Red Sox, which have recently acquired a lot of bandwagon fans who wear pink hats and root against the Yankees because THEY SPEND MORE THAN OTHER TEAMS!–the Red Sox rank second and spent more in the 2010 offseason–are annoying as hell.
They just look to get under the skin of Yankee fans with quotes like, “how many rings do you have in the past 10 years?”
Yeah? How many rings did you actually care about before the past five?
I also love that when I enter a bar with a Brooklyn Dodgers hat that Yankee fans know it’s a Dodgers’ hat. Boston fans approach and congratulate me about being a Sox fan.
No, man. I’m not the kinda guy who would wears a BLUE Boston hat. You are!
The percentage of Red Sox fans who supported Boston before the 2004 championship are tolerable because they do know the game.
They can talk Yankees-Red Sox without bringing up payroll or current World Series rings.
Unfortunately for Boston fans, there are, currently, more knowledgeable Yankee fans than Sox supporters. (Of course all of this “data” is unscientific and is observational opinion by a baseball fan caught in the middle of Yankee-Red Sox nation.)
Third, the stadium.
Now, I never visited the old stadium–college commitments prevented me to catch a couple games–but the first time I visited the new stadium, I fell in love.
There are some arguments against the new stadium, which state that the Yankee home doesn’t feel like an old-fashioned ballpark or doesn’t have a soul.
Well, that doesn’t bother me at all.
I love the feel of the new stadiums. Everywhere you go it’s wide open, comfortable, relaxing and fan friendly (Baltimore’s Camden Yards and Cleveland’s Progressive Field started the trend and they’re great too).
I’m not a fan of crowded places. I hate being in packed bars that are filled with people who can spill their drink on you, smack you in the head with their talking hands, and it takes six hours to order a draft beer.
That’s not a problem at the new stadium.
When the place is sold out, the aisles are easy to get through and no beer or bathroom line is too long–unless there’s a slow worker pouring your drink.
It’s a very relaxing atmosphere and there isn’t a bad seat in the house (unless you’re one of the idiots who buy obstructed, center-field seats.)
The last two times Kate and I were at the stadium, we bought upper-deck tickets in the 400 section (left, our seats on Sunday). Both seats were near the top, under the overhang and we had no issue watching the game (the only issue is if you’re seated on the third or first base side because it’s tough to judge the depth of a fly ball–you don’t know how high or low in the air the ball is).
This wasn’t the case at the former Shea Stadium–okay, I understand it’s not fair to compare fresh oranges to old, rotten oranges but let me get to my point.
Early in our relationship, I tried to impress her with tickets to the final game at Shea Stadium (quick side note: she had lived in NYC for six years and never been to Shea. At the time I purchased the tickets there was a chance the Mets could make the playoffs and it would not be the final game, however, the Mets didn’t let me down and missed the playoffs by losing to the Florida Marlins on the final day of the regular season).
I purchased tickets behind home plate, near the top of the upper deck. Decent seats that cost me a pretty penny, however, the overhang prevented us from seeing any action in the outfield (my 5’8 frame needed to duck down to look under the overhang so I could view any sort of long-fly ball).
Now, I should have done more research and known about the overhang problem but if I’m a season-ticket holder. I am pissed!
I’m sure the ticket owner is paying decent money and CAN’T SEE the outfield without killing themselves?–Ouch.
The isn’t a problem at ANY of the modern stadiums which is the way it should be (unless, again, you’re the idiot who buys obstructed-center field seats at Yankee Stadium).
Last August, Kate and I journeyed to Citi Field.
I like Citi Field, and like Yankee Stadium, I love how fan friendly it is.
Everything is state of the art and is easily accessible for fans (prices for beer and food are slightly lower than Yankee Stadium too–which brings me to another point: Unless you’re a family of four, which I understand is the target audience for MLB, Yankee Stadium, for a couple, isn’t that expensive. On Sunday, Kate and I bought two tickets on Stubhub for less than $50, spent about $15 on gas, ate lunch for $18.50, drank three 24-ounce-$10 beers, had two ice-cream cones for $11, for a total of about $125. On Friday, our tab at a local restaurant-bar was $75, this included: a couple too many beers for me, dinner for two and a nice tip for the bartender. (I’d rather be at Yankee Stadium).
However, a quality that fans like about Citi Field is a negative for me.
Citi Field was built to have a homey, old-fashioned ballpark feel. Seating is more condensed and closer to the field. As Kate described it, “it has more of a Fenway feel,” (she has been to Fenway, I have not).
During my first visit to Yankee Stadium, Kate and I got into a discussion with a Yankee fan who had visited both parks and liked Citi Field more because of that Fenway-type quality (the fan also grew up in Brooklyn and went to Ithaca College. It was interesting when he mentioned the Rongovian Embassy, a famous restaurant-bar, in Trumansburg during the conversation).
The fan mentioned that he liked the old-time ballpark feel to Citi Field over the mall-type feel of Yankee Stadium.
I disagree. Like I said before, I think space and feel is much more comfortable at Yankee Stadium. That’s just my preference and the reality is, a fan can’t go wrong with either park.
In conclusion, Kate and I will visit Yankee Stadium again and again. That’s because, I love watching baseball there and we like the Yankees (her more than I).
I love the drive over the George Washington Bridge as you enter New York City. That sight never gets old (I gladly pay the eight-dollar toll to see it over and over, again).
I love Yankee fans and their passion for baseball.
Basically, I love baseball and love watching it at Yankee Stadium.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Lance Berkman Placed on DL; Eduardo Nunez Called Up

Via The Star-Ledger:

“The Yankees placed designated hitter Lance Berkman on the disabled list before Thursday’s game with the Tigers and called up infielder Eduardo Nunez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“‘There’s only so long you can feel comfortable going without a backup infielder,’ Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

“The Yankees have essentially been playing short, with catcher Francisco Cervelli as the only backup infielder since Berkman sprained his right ankle on Sunday and third baseman Alex Rodriguez strained his calf on Monday.”

With two guys, Berkman and A-Rod, on the bench and unable to play, the Yankees have been forced to use Cervelli as a third baseman. That’s a no-no, especially considering all the problems Jorge Posada has been dealing with lately. If Cervelli has to play third and then Posada gets hurt, it’s Marcus Thames who will have to play third base. In those circumstances, the Yankees will practically be giving away wins.

So Berkman goes on the DL because A-Rod is more important to the success of this team. This move is retroactive to August 16th, so he’s eligible to be activated September 1st. So this could mean Eduardo Nunez is here to stay for the remainder of the season.

This is actually a good break for Nunez, who now gets two extra weeks to audition for the playoff roster. If his bat shows life and his defense is at least average, then he could replace Ramiro Pena on the playoff roster.


Related Stories

August 9, 2010: Extended Yankees Notes: A-Rod, Burnett, Posada, Pettitte, and More

August 19, 2010: Yankees Notes: Recap, Warren, SI Promotions

August 18, 2010: Yankees Notes: A-Rod, Pettitte, Swisher, Johnson, Marte

August 16, 2010: Yankees Notes: Berkman, Pettitte, Aceves, Marte, Vazquez

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

New York Yankees Offense and Pitching Could Use Some Help

The Yankees had to overcome a five run deficit last night to beat the Texas Rangers after Javier Vazquez’s poor start, a start he shouldn’t have even made.

Javy’s pitches topped out at about 85 mph last night, which is not good enough to get major league hitters out, let alone the heavy hitting Texas Rangers.

Apparently he has a case of dead arm, which is slowing his pitches down to nearly Tim Wakefied speeds. The only problem is Javy doesn’t throw a knuckle ball.

I give Javy a lot of credit for going out there and making his scheduled start, but I feel that a stint on the 15-day DL would do him and the team more good than having him out there every five days throwing a 68 mph curve or a 85 mph fastball.

But Javy is not the only concern right now for the Yankees. Surprisingly, it’s the offense that has let them down recently.

With Jorge Posada, Francisco Cervelli, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, and Lance Berkman all going through varying degrees of slumps right now, that mighty Yankee lineup isn’t looking so mighty anymore.

So what options do the Yankees have to help get them through the playoff push?

For the pitching, they have an excellent live arm in the minors by the name of Ivan Nova.

The ace of the staff for the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees is putting up numbers that the Yankee front office can’t ignore.

Nova is 10-3 with an ERA of 3.02 in 21 games started this year. He also has struck out an even 100 batters, while walking 43 in 131 innings, and has only given up 10 home runs all year.

He’s got a flame thrower of an arm, even rumored to have thrown a 100 mph fastball earlier this year, which could prove to be just what the Yankees need to get them through September and into the playoffs.

Any way you look at it, Nova has got to be better than dead arm Javy.

As for the offense, it has to be Jesus Montero.

With both Posada and Cervelli struggling at the plate right now, I think it might be time to call upon the top prospect in the organization.

Montero got off to a very slow start this year, but has bounced back and is one of the hotter hitters in the minors now. He’s coming into today with a .287 average, and leads the team with 14 home runs, 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored.

The man can hit, plain and simple.

The Yankees carried three catchers last year, and might just do so again this year as they head down the stretch.

In my mind, Nova and Montero would be a shot in the arm that the Yankees desperately need to have with the Rays and the Red Sox nipping at their heels for the AL East crown.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Red Sox vs. Yankees: Losing On Errors, Not Injuries, as Boston Wins, 6-3

The Boston Red Sox disabled list is long, but even crippled, this is a darn good ball club.

Winning the first game against the Yankees proves the Red Sox are still in the mix in the AL East.

Boston’s starting rotation is now all active and healthy, and they are ridiculously good.

Red Sox ace Josh Beckett’s being back is huge because his passion and fiery attitude demand a lot of respect. Clearly, Beckett is the leader of the staff and his absence was apparent.

In Friday night’s loss, the Yankees should have taken advantage of Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz.

It looked that way after Mark Teixeira’s blast in the first-inning, scoring Derek Jeter, but that was the extent of it. Jeter was on base all night, as the other Yankees run came from Alex Rodriquez driving in the Captain in the fifth.

Buchholz set this game’s tone, as he successfully pounded the strike zone. He didn’t let pitches get up too high after being reminded why by Tex. Buchholz allowed nine hits in total, while the Red Sox were fielding error-free behind their starter.

Considering the Red Sox’s record amount of injuries, their record of 63-47 is astonishing.

Recalling all the doubt at the start of the 2010 season in the Red Sox as a team is something no one will question again. GM Theo Epstein is so confident in the teams he puts on the field because the Red Sox are always atop the top teams list.

I can say or admit that imagining a healthy Red Sox team scares the hell out of me. Epstein is a certified GM because the initial roster was superb, but players are not super men.

The dropped ball error by Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli did allow three unearned runs to score. The Red Sox took advantage of the Yankees’ mistakes and capitalized for the win.

Luckily, the Yankees still remain in first place, thanks to the Tampa Bay Rays losing for the second night against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rays have now lost three in a row.

As for the Yankees, just watch this game again and observe our Captain in the bottom of the ninth, with two outs. Jeter had a 14-pitch at-bat and the fight in him should be inspiration enough.

It just proves that the outcome for the next three games will make a serious impact on both ball clubs.

Both teams know it and both will fight to win.




Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress