Initially given a 4-8 week recovery timetable after breaking his left foot on March 2, backup catcher Francisco Cervelli could be close to returning to the Yankees after catching six innings in an extended spring training game.
Joe Girardi said yesterday that “everything is going according to plan” with Cervelli’s rehab and Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com reports that he “could return to the Yankees in as little as 10 days.”
Cervelli got just a handful of spring training at-bats before the injury, so he’ll need to go out on a minor-league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list. Russell Martin is playing well enough that he doesn’t have to worry about losing significant playing time to Cervelli, who would instead resume backup duties while pushing Gustavo Molina off the roster.
Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.
Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.
“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”
Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.
Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.
Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.