Jobu weighs in on the shock of Francisco Cervelli’s demotion to AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
Today, one of our favorite sons is imprisoned against his will. We love him on and off the field, and what is being done to him is not right. I implore you all to join my movement, and demand that the yankees free Francisco Cervelli!
If you’re wondering if I’ve once again broken into the office drink cart (you know, like on planes), I haven’t. Today, the New York Yankees traded possible bullpen helper George Kontos to the San Francisco Baseball Giants in exchange for a schmo named Chris Stewart (a former Yankee, but a schmo none the less). Stewart will immediately take over the backup catcher duties from Francisco Cervelli, who has been sent to AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre.
What what what?? Not only did they trade a pretty good looking young pitcher for a schmo backup catcher (Stewart has a .200/.270/.293 career slash line, although he has thrown out 39% of baserunners in his brief career), they dumped one of the emotional catalysts of the team to the minor leagues?
Now, don’t get me wrong. Despite how MLB the Show ’12 ranks him, Cervelli isn’t the best hitter in the league, or the best defensive catcher, and he certainly doesn’t have the best arm strength or accuracy ever, but… but… well damn it, he’s Frankie! He gets clutch hits, he laughs a lot, he might be immortal, and he yells something that looks like “BABOOO BABOOO” whenever he does something good. We love him for it!
If we get serious for a moment, I guess my biggest problem with the flurry of moves isn’t that Frankie is no longer on the Yankees (I sent him down following Spring in my MLB the Show franchise). My big issue is with trading Kontos. Kontos really established himself as a legitimate major league option in the bullpen with his AAA season last year and his cup of coffee with the big club (2.62 ERA and 9.2 K/9 last year at Scranton). Why trade him for a backup catcher who is going to play 35 games at the most this season? Why not stick with the guy that has held the job since 2009?
Brian Cashman has said that the injury to AAA catcher Austin Romine caused a lack of depth at the AAA level, which made a trade necessary, but why not trade for a minor league catcher? Why not sign a bum off the streets and stick him in AAA (like Craig Tatum, whom they signed last week)? Why risk a possibly good reliever for a backup catcher, and, on top of that, risk messing with the clubhouse dynamic?
My theory is that another move is in the works and it involves Cervelli. If they turn around and trade Frankie for another useful piece, then maybe this will all make sense. Either that, or the Yankees have completely lost faith in Cervelli’s talent, his ability to stay healthy or both. I have heard that Stewart is a pretty great defensive catcher who calls a great game, maybe the Yankees don’t think Cervelli has those same qualities? Or maybe he slept with Minka Kelly and Jeter wants him off the team (hey Steve Nash did it to Jason Richardson)?
Whatever the real reasoning is, hopefully it comes to light in the next couple of days. Until then… FREE FRANKIE!!
Feature image courtesy of: (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America)
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