Cervelli Shrugs Off Concussions And Trade Rumors

Pirates Catcher Looks Forward To Big Things In 2019

Eric Hagman
February 12, 2019 - 1:34 pm

Bradenton, FL (93.7 The Fan) - Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli missed extended time in recent seasons because of concussions.  At Pirate City on Tuesday, he stressed it's an occupational hazard for any catcher. 

"The prevention probably has to be a wall in front of home plate--a concrete wall--and to then not get hit," Cervelli said.  "It's something you cannot take away, but I'm really working on a lot of stuff, (such as) my eyes to get back on track and tell my brain this is what we have to do.  Before the season was done my head was good, so nothing to worry about."

Cervelli also isn't worrying about trade rumors that began around the winter meetings.  It was widely reported that the Pirates and Dodgers were involved in serious talks about Cervelli, who turns 33 next month.

"Oh, no I don't care, I really don't care," Cervelli said when asked about the rumors.  "I know that stuff is going to happen.  This is a business.  Rumors are rumors, that's it."

And he pointed out there's an upside.  "Sometimes it's good to see your name somewhere.  That means people love you, people want you."

Related: Feeling Great, Chris Archer Is Ready For His First Pirates Camp

Was he surprised the Pirates considered moving him?

"Nope, the way baseball is now nothing surprises me," Cervelli said.  "I'm here now.  I have this uniform.  I'm gonna make sure to represent them well.  This is the place I want to be. The  noise outside you need to just shut it down because it's not good."

Cervelli believes in the pitching staff and likes the additions of veteran outfielders Lonnie Chisenhall and Melky Cabrera.  He also thinks one of the young veterans is ready for a breakout season.

"I know (Josh) Bell is going to have a monster season," Cervelli said. "We know what kind of hitter he is.  Last year was a little crazy with his approach, whatever, but he knows.  You learn more from the bad things, from the negative results, than the positive.  This guy can do a lot of damage."

Cervelli did his share of damage at the plate, hitting a career-high 12 home runs in 332 at bats.  He enjoyed being asked about "establishing himself as a home run hitter."

"That makes me feel sexy right now," Cervelli joked.  "Last year was the first time that I felt something different, and I think I'm going to keep doing the same thing.  I feel like I'm a better player than years before.  There's nothing wrong to be a home run hitter.  I changed my stance and am doing a leg kick, and it's helping.  I hope I can hit double digits again with a 2 in the front."  

Cervelli said it's up to Clint Hurdle if he plays some first base or even third to keep his bat in the lineup, but made on thing very clear.

"I love catching more than hitting.  I'm a catcher."