Francisco Cervelli has a concussion

7 Comments

We’ve known that Yankees backup catcher Francisco Cervelli has had some concussion-like symptoms since he was leveled at home plate by Nick Markakis in last Thursday’s game against the Orioles. But yesterday it was confirmed: dude has a concussion and he’s on the shelf indefinitely.  Given that he has suffered at least two and possibly three concussions in the past couple of years, he could be out a really long time as recovery time tends to drag on a bit longer for each one.

That means that both Jesus Montero and Austin Romine — the two catching prospects who have basically spent all year in the minors — are likely to make the playoff roster. Montero as the DH/emergency catcher, Romine as the backup catcher. At least I would assume.

Joe Girardi is a former catcher of course, and there have been indications that he is way more concerned about defense behind the dish than your average manager (Mike Scioscia is like this too).  Montero clearly has some issues back there. I’ve never seen Romine catch, but it’s been said that he’s competent but by no means spectacular.  One wonders if this will impact Girardi’s decisions if, say, Russell Martin is a bit banged up.  Or if Giardi is the kind of guy who would rather go with the devil he knows — Jorge Posada — rather than the devil he doesn’t in two young kids.

A major issue? Nah, because Cervelli really isn’t a very good baseball player.  But the kind of thing that can have a fairly large impact due to the position involved and, more importantly, the psychology surrounding the position involved.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
1 Comment

We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.