Yankees Put Cervelli On 60-Day DL; Call Up Murphy
After suffering a Grade-2 hamstring strain Sunday, Francisco Cervelli was placed on the 60-Day Disabled List. Backing up for Brian McCann at catcher for the duration of the season, Cervelli only saw limited playing time, playing in five of the team’s thirteen games.
Cervelli injured himself running through first base, on a call that was eventually overturned. Initially called out, and after manager Joe Girardi requested a review of the play, he was ruled safe, allowing McCann to score on what was originally an inning ending double play. That was the only RBI for Cervelli this season.
Without their backup catcher, the Yankees called up catcher J.R. Murphy from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In sixteen games last year with the Yankees, after September call-ups, Murphy batted .154. During his tenure last year, he caught the final pitches for Mariano Rivera before Rivera retired.
While Murphy has impressed scouts, enough so the Yankees drafted him in the second round of the 2009 draft, he has to earn his spot. While Cervelli won’t come back for a while, he has been with the organization for many years. Along with backup catcher from last year, Austin Romine, Murphy also has to challenge one of the Yankees’ top prospects, Gary Sanchez.
Because of the physicality of being behind the plate, starting catchers often only play around 120-130 games a year. As the Yankees are trying their best to preserve McCann for the entirety of his five-year contract, if Murphy impresses when he has his opportunity, he could see his opportunities rise. Taking advantages of moments could give him the nod over the other catchers in the organization, and would receive much attention within the New York City market.
For more on Murphy, click here to read an article about him on NJ.Com.