Cervelli gives Yankees depth at catcher position

Veteran backstop expected to leave camp as the backup to McCann
03/12/2014 12:41 PM ET
By Doug Williams

Background: Francisco Cervelli is a 28-year-old catcher for the New York Yankees. He's been in the big leagues since 2008 and has been a backup or third-string catcher for the majority of his time with the Yankees. He has a .271 career batting average with 79 RBI in 542 big-league at-bats.

2013 Season: Cervelli has described his 2013 as a "disaster." After winning the starting catcher job last spring, he broke his hand on April 26 and was then suspended by Major League Baseball for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. He appeared in just 17 games.

Greatest Strength: Most backup-type catchers are below-average hitters, but Cervelli is different. He has proven he can hit the ball out of the ballpark and is also is capable of hitting for a good average. Catcher's that are not considered a liability in the lineup are likely to find a starting job somewhere.

Greatest Weakness: Cervelli is coming off a season during which he suffered a serious injury and suspension, so his stock has probably been higher. However, Cervelli is known as a good teammate and game-caller behind the plate.

Prediction: It's hard to tell whether or not Cervelli gets traded before the regular season. Remember, the Yankees signed Chris Stewart at the last minute to replace Cervelli before the 2012 season ... so anything can happen. Either way, Cervelli will most likely be the Yankees' backup catcher if he's not traded to another team who is low on catching depth, which is not a problem the Yankees have. 

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