Francisco Cervelli
Getty Images

Francisco Cervelli wants to keep catching

10 Comments

Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli walked back some of the comments he made last week after posting a lengthy caption on Instagram. “Saying that I quit from my catcher responsibilities is inaccurate,” he wrote. “My hope is to catch again.”

Cervelli went on to explain that while he’s concerned about his health and recovery from multiple concussions, he’s not ready to call it quits anytime soon, either:

Not being in the catcher spot right now is part of the process of recovery from several concussions that have forced me to stop and think about my health beyond my baseball years, that have made me reflect on my health and my life in general and how my decisions affect other people that want the best for me in the long run.

I keep working hard, there’s no other way for me to do things. I love baseball but I also have to take care of myself. I want to take care of myself and have quality of life now and hopefully from many more years.

This requires to reinvent myself, have patience and keep working. In other words, to my fans, rest assured that I am working hard on my recovery and I will come back with more strength and the same passion I have always had for this sport. That, I can assure you: I have nothing other than passion, gratitude and love for what I do, for this sport.

This isn’t just a job for me. This is part of my life and I can’t live my life without injecting passion and energy, heart and mind into what I do, whatever that is.

That certainly wasn’t the tune the 33-year-old backstop was singing last Sunday, when he revealed to Dejan Kovacevic of DK Pittsburgh Sports that he was having doubts about his ability to continue catching in light of the six concussions he’s weathered over the last decade.

It’s not clear what changed over the last five days—whether he felt his quotes were taken out of context, whether the club exerted pressure on him to push a more positive narrative, or whether he had a genuine change of heart—but Cervelli seems intent on extending his time in the majors. He remains on the 10-day injured list following his most recent concussion, however, with no set return date and a murky future with the Pirates beyond 2019.

Right now, the club looks pretty content with their talented catching duo of Elias Díaz and Jacob Stallings, and finding a spot for Cervelli may not be feasible if/when he works his way back up to full health later this year. It’s possible that he could secure a minor league gig when he hits free agency this fall, but regardless of personal inclination toward or away from catching, his days behind the plate may already be numbered.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

Justin Verlander
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports