Spring training position battles are never fun when one player is forced to concede due to an injury, but such a scenario might be the case with the Yankees backup catcher role. Francisco Cervelli fouled a ball off his foot Wednesday, and after a couple of tests the Yankees don’t know exactly how bad it is. It could be a bruise, but it also could be a hairline fracture.
If it’s the latter, it’s good news for Jesus Montero.
UPDATE: It was the latter. Cervelli is out four to eight weeks.
Montero is just 1-for-8 with an RBI in three games thus far, but teammates have seen improvement with his glove. One MLB scout said his bat is capable of producing 35 homers — unheard of for a catcher these days — so if he can make any progress defensively the Yankees could really have something special.
Going back to the matter at hand, would it really be a good thing if Montero starts 2011 as a backup? My plan all along has been for him to start in Scranton and get regular at-bats.
But if an injury makes Montero the best man for the backup job, I don’t think the Yankees will hesitate to use him. Perhaps, if they are really worried about his development, they’ll give him a few extra at-bats as a DH or pinch hitter on days he’s not catching.
Would a serious injury to Cervelli be a good thing for Montero’s development?