"My family was here until [May 26] and they helped me turn the page," Francisco Cervelli said. "That's my gasoline, family."
In the last 10 games, the catcher has been heating up. He has batted .278 (10-36) connecting for two home runs and 11 runs batted in. Cervelli had failed to clear the park until May 18th.
"Yea, hitting well. I'm taking good at-bats and I feel like I'm getting there," Cervelli said. "The first month was a little tough with the weather, mentally, but we just turn the page and we got to play baseball."
The first month of the season was especially tough for Cervelli. Heading into Spring Training, Cervelli felt really good and believed he would be on the New York Yankees active roster once camp ended.
However, Cervelli batted .209, the Yankees acquired Chris Stewart to back up Russell Martin and instead he saw himself demoted on the last day of camp. The Venezuelan had enjoyed three years in the majors as the primary backup to Jorge Posada and Russell Martin. Last year donning the pinstripes, Cervelli slugged .266 with four home runs and 22 RBIs in 43 games.
Unlike 2009, 2010, and 2011 seasons, year 2012 was already taxing.
"It was tough, everything, everything happened too fast," Cervelli admitted. "When I came [to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre] everything was different and that kinda affected me a little bit but we got to play no matter what happens."
The backstop wished he could have responded with a great opening month. However, the opposite occurred. He was marred by multiple slumps and droughts and did not record his first hit until his 15th at-bat of the season. For the month of April, Cervelli hit .213 with zero home runs and four runs batted in.
Although Cervelli has struggled with achieving contact, he has enjoyed working with the pitchers on the roster.
"I kinda like to be in charge with the guys and we've got a couple of young [pitchers] but also just learning how to build consistency with hitting, defense, and player relay."
Cervelli understands he is neither a power hitter nor a home run threat. Instead, he appreciates coming to work everyday and giving his all on the field.
"Baseball is 90% mental and 10% physical," he said, "but when the game is on you got to put your mind and brain completely wiped and go there, have fun, and play hard."
Playing hard is how Cervelli enjoys playing the game.
"My mother always says play like it's the last game of your life because you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow."
Since his family visited him, Cervelli's batting average has risen to .246. Along with his two home runs from May, he has plated 15 more runs and now has 19 RBIs on the season.
Cervelli is primed to end May on a good note and hopes to have a greater impact this summer for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre or again in the majors.
"I know it's my goal [to make it back to the big leagues] and never going to put it out of my mind," he concluded. "I'm never going to stay like relax so I'm going to keep working as in my mind I'm going to make it."
Only Cervelli can write the conclusion to his own novel.
Cervelli Trying to Catch Fire
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