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Cervelli makes debut--and a play--at second

Francisco Cervelli

Francisco Cervelli

#17 C

New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM30
  • HR1

  • RBI15

  • R11

  • OBP.305

  • AVG.235

When Joe Girardi told Francisco Cervelli to get ready to play in Sunday's game, the backup catcher started putting on his shin guards, thinking he would be taking his normal position behind the plate.

That wasn't the case.

"He said, you're going to play second base," Cervelli said. "I was like, OK, a little surprised, but let's do it."

For the first time in his career, at any level, Cervelli played second base during the Yankees' 4-2 win against Baltimore Sunday. Cervelli played two innings in the field and made one assist before being replaced in the seventh inning.

"I can now say I played second base in the big leagues for the Yankees," Cervelli said.

Cervelli entered the game at second after shortstop Derek Jeter left the game with a bruised right middle finger and second baseman Eduardo Nunez shifted to shortstop. With Robinson Cano as the designated hitter and a light bullpen Sunday, Girardi did not want to enter Cano at that point and lose his designated hitter for the rest of the game.

Cervelli said he's the extra backup infielder and takes ground balls every day and tried to keep it simple out in the field. The catcher said he has played shortstop and third base in his past and said it's different playing second base, as the angles differ from that of the left side of the infield.

In the sixth, Cervelli got his first and only chance to make a play when Chris Davis hit a ground ball to him with a man on first. Cervelli went to second to try and start a double play, but he threw too low and only the out at second could be made.While he's a catcher by craft, as soon as he got the ball Cervelli said he immediately started thinking of getting two outs on the play.

"Two slow runners, that's it, double play," Cervelli said. "Gotta throw next time to the chest."