Exclusive Brian Cashman Interview: Part Four

There’s still plenty of stuff coming up on Thunder Thoughts over the next few days, weeks and months.  Never before seen features on Brett Gardner and Dave Eiland, year-end awards, photo-related features and my best guess on which uniform your favorite Thunder players might be wearing in 2009 are all things I’ve got planned.

But for now, you’ll just have to settle for a Q&A with the general manager of what many consider to be the best and most popular organization in all of professional sports.

I hope that’s all right…

In any event, part four is similar to part three, in which I asked Brian Cashman about a specific player who’d just been promoted from Trenton.  Yesterday, it was about Humberto Sanchez.  Today, learn about what Cashman thinks about Francisco Cervelli AND WHERE HE THINKS HE’LL BE PLAYING IN 2009…

Brian Cashman: “In Cervelli’s case, it’s the same thing (as Sanchez).  It’s looking towards ’09.  Here’s a guy that we had high hopes for.  The plan would be for him to go to the next level after he plays winter ball and play in Triple-A next year, and he’d be an injury away from being our guy up here.  So let’s give him a little taste of what it’s like to be up here at the end of September, so when he’s needed and called upon next year, he’s been there and done that to some degree.  Just get that shock out of the way.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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8 Responses to “Exclusive Brian Cashman Interview: Part Four”

  1. Ralph Says:

    wow thats very interesting..i hope when the yankees go on the road after today they can play cervelli a couple games…

  2. dan Says:

    Does anyone else think Cervelli is being rushed? He skipped Charleston completely but did okay at Tampa last season. Now after 21 games in AA they think he’s ready for AAA? I think if they want to be aggressive they should start him out in AA with an eye towards a quick promotion to AAA if he’s doing well. He’s not going to develop any power whatsoever if they rush him too much.

  3. thunderbaseball Says:

    I do think he’s being rushed, but I also think there may be a need for it. Posada seems to be breaking down, and Jose Molina probably isn’t getting a plaque in Monument Park any time soon. They need to get him ready quickly.

    However, if it were up to me, I’d have him in Trenton to start the year and P.J. in Scranton…but it’s clearly not up to me.

  4. mbn Says:

    I disagree with your assessment of PJ and Cervelli. To me, Cervelli has the higher upside, and therefore should be at AAA if he is healthy. PJ, should either back Frank up in AAA, or start at AA if a vet Catcher (Moeller) is signed over the winter.

    Cervelli has the higher upside, is a whiz defensively, and if he can hit, has a shot at being a regular somewhere in the Majors. PJ, to me, is limited in his abilities somewhat, especially throwing. I think his ceiling is backup, at best. In spite of his “clutch-ness” this season, and his reputation in the clubhouse as a “good guy”.

  5. thunderbaseball Says:

    It isn’t about having the bigger upside…obviously, Cervelli has the bigger upside.

    But I think P.J. deserves an opportunity in Triple-A, and I’d also like to see Cervelli work on being a little more consistent with the bat at the Double-A level as well.

  6. putter Says:

    I belive if they send Cervelli to AAA and not PJ they should do the right thing and release him so he can get with another team who will give him a fair shot he’s done everything he can for the Yankees and has never been rewarded, every thing I have read they say he’s the smartest player that will some day be a coach or manager he has had the highest fielding% of any catcher in the past 4 years and his pitching staff the lowest ERA in all 4 leagues which would probaly have been good enought for any other team to be moved up

  7. Dave S. Says:

    Your comments are well said Putter!!!

    We all know that Cervelli is the “prospect’ here. What I believe Mike is saying is that he could use some more time at AA. He was up for what a month in Trenton. He will face good pitching at the AA level. Move him to AAA in a few months if he’s doing well. The kid is one of the best defensive catchers I’ve ever seen in the minors. The way he squares himself to get in front of balls is awesome. I once gave him a standing O in S.I for blocking 3 straight wild pitches. As we saw in the clincher he has a great arm. I think his bat will be ok also.

    As per P.J. I agree with what Putter says. I’m not saying that P.J will be a starter anywhere but I think he could be a backup right now. And any fan who has seen him in Staten Island,Tampa and Trenton knows how much he’s into the game. During the S.I Championship season of 2005 he was the inspiration for that team. He carried over his winning attitude from 2004 CWS Champion Cal.St Fullerton. And this past post season ,I sat behind the Thunder dugout for all the games. Between innings he was always talking with Scot Aldred about pitches and matchups. While he was at bat against Portland and they made a pitching change he came running and yelling at the dugout for a report on the new Portland pitcher. He then lined the first pitch for what proved to be the game winning hit. He calls a great game and any manager would love him. I hope he gets a shot someday somewhere just like Putter says. And I assure you this kid will make a fine coach/manager when his playing days are over…..

  8. Joseph DelGrippo Says:

    Cervelli was highly regarded in spring training before the broken wrist sidelined him for a few months. When he returned, he was brought up to Trenton after a brief time playing in Tampa.

    His defense in blocking balls is great, his throwing arm is already ML caliber and the pitchers he has caught love throwing to him.

    At the major league level, the primary responsiblity of a catcher is defense, always has been and always will. The great hitting catchers like Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Carlton Fisk, Mike Piazza, I-Rod, Thurman Munson and even Jorge Posada are few and far between.

    Posada’s shoulder woes are worse than he will admit and there is no way he starts the season as Yankee catcher in 2009, and might not even catch all year. His arm strength will not warrant any sort of excellence on defense.

    That being said, the Yankees have a need to get younger, to save money for possible FA signings and need some 40 man spots for some young pitchers. Therefore, the Yankees will keep Molina as starting catcher but will not have Moeller or Rodriguez back as the cost is too steep via roster spots and salary.

    Francisco Cervelli has a great shot at being the backup catcher next year in the new Yankee Stadium. Youthfulness, a great arm and good defense on top of being a switch hitter give Cervelli an advantage for the backup role over older veterans. If he hits at all – it’s a bonus, but with his defense it is not needed.

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