Yankees' backup catcher Francisco Cervelli just can't catch a break when it comes to spring training — well, he can catch a break, just a break of the wrong kind.
Cervelli, who has backed up Jorge Posada for the past two seasons, has been injured at spring training during three of the last four years. He broke his wrist in 2008 during a home-plate collision. In 2010, he suffered a concussion after being hit in the head, and now he has a broken left foot.
The fracture above his toes occurred during the second inning of Wednesday's game against the Astros when Cervelli took a foul ball off the arch, the New York Post reports.
Now on crutches and in a walking boot, Cervelli will be out for at least four weeks.
"It always happens early," manager Joe Girardi told the Post of Cervelli's injuries.
This means that the door is now open for one of two rookies, Jesus Montero or Austin Romine, to step up and earn the role of primary backup catcher for Russell Martin, who was acquired in December to take over the starting catcher position for Posada. Of the two, Montero seems to have the edge after hitting .289 with 21 homers and 75 RBIs for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season, while Romine has yet to play above Double-A.
The new backup could see quite a bit of playing time, considering Martin's slower-than-expected recovery from offseason knee surgery.
Girardi maintains that Posada will not be thrown back into the catcher mix, as he is set to be the Yankees' designated hitter.
Gustavo Molina has an outside chance of winning the job, but with only 23 games of big-league experience, it seems most likely that Montero is the favorite.
"I have been really pleased with what he has done," Girardi told the Post of Montero. "I have watched him frame the ball, catch the ball, and I am very happy with that.
"He sits in with (pitching coach) Larry [Rothschild], and all our catchers meet with Larry every day and they have a plan and an idea," Girardi added. "He has been extremely receptive. It's something he wants and you see him working like he wants it."
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