With a highly-publicized battle for the starting catcher position to take place down in Tampa, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli can think of better ways to focus on the upcoming competition. However, following new revelations with the never-ending Biogenesis Clinic in Miami, run by Anthony Bosch, which allege Cervelli as a client, the 26-year-old backstop took to defending his name Wednesday in Tampa.
As reported by Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com, Cervelli met with the media for ten minutes and per the norm, since his name was unveiled in the investigation, vehemently denied the allegations,
“I just went there, talked, and that's it," Cervelli said. "I walked away without nothing in my hands."
Moreover, while addressing the allegations outside the Yankees clubhouse at George M. Steinbrenner Field, albeit being a serious demeanor, Cervelli poked fun at his career numbers and how they correlate with that of a performance-enhancing drug user,
“Look at me," Cervelli said, indicating his wiry physique. "You check the numbers. I know it doesn't matter, but if you check the numbers and everything, I don't use that stuff."
Needless to say, it's hard to speculate how a career .271 hitter with five career home runs in 184 games fits the mold of the other alleged Bosch clients, such as teammate Alex Rodriguez and slugging outfielders Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers.
While Cervelli does admit to meeting with Bosch, he claims that it is the only thing he did, and he emphatically states that he left their headquarters without any kind of banned or legal substance.
The most experienced catcher of the Yankee trio that includes veteran Chris Stewart and young Austin Romine (at least from a perspective of significant playing time as a Yankee), Cervelli potentially has the inside track on the position left vacant by the offseason departure of free agent Russell Martin. However, Cervelli must be able to fill the shoes of an adequate offensive and defensive catcher in current Pittsburgh Pirate Russell Martin.
Cervelli's stint in Tampa will be brief, as he has committed to playing for Team Italy in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, thus narrowing his window to impress the organization for the starting role.
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