Francisco Cervelli Set To Return To Team Workouts


After a few days off, Francisco Cervelli is ready to return to the diamond

On Saturday, Francisco Cervelli was pulled from team workouts. The reason given for the absence of the Pirates’ catcher was ‘right-foot discomfort.’ However, Cervelli is set to return to the field.

After three days off, Francisco Cervelli will return to the field on Tuesday.

As expected, Cervelli’s foot issue was a very minor one not worth worrying about. The Pittsburgh Pirates are a week into Spring Training and Opening Day is still seven weeks away. Due to this, if a player sneezes wrong right now they will be given a day or two down.

Francisco Cervelli is in his third season as the Pirate backstop, and the first year of a new three-year contract extension he signed last season. During his two seasons in Pittsburgh Cervelli has a 5.5 WAR. This is the second highest WAR among Major League catchers during this time behind only Buster Posey.

Last season Cervelli played in just 101 games due to a broken hamate bone. This came one year after playing in a career high 130 games during the 2015 campaign.

The hamate bone injury undoubtedly had a negative impact on Cervelli last season. Prior to having surgery in early June he owned a wRC+ of 93. After returning from his injury on July 19th, he posted a 106 wRC+.

Despite the injury, Cervelli was once again a strong defensive backstop in 2016. He finished third among Major League catchers in pitch framing and posted a 4.4 dWAR. Furthermore, his .377 on-base percentage led all Major League catchers.

Next: A 2017 Pitching Breakout Candidate

Cervelli is slated to catch for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. The WBC will begin on March 6th.