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Francisco Cervelli shut down with severe headaches; Austin Romine called up

The Humbler claims another victim...

Jim McIsaac

With 23 games left to go, it is possible that the Yankees' backup catcher may have played his last game in 2014.

Cervelli has a long history with concussions, so any news of headaches should set off alarms. The catcher has been one of the lone bright spots in a year that has seen very little production out of many of its star players as he's hit to a very strong .284/.341/.441 triple slash line; good for a 113 wRC+ over 40 games. In addition to his surprising offensive contributions, the excitable, fist-pumping backup provided ample value behind the plate.  He has shown solid ability at preventing the running game, having thrown out roughly 26% of attempted base-stealers, while also showcasing a strong ability to steal strikes with his framing skills.

In his place, the Yankees will recall 25-year-old catcher Austin Romine from Triple-A for what will be his third tour of duty with the major league club.  In 81 games for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Romine hit an underwhelming .242/.302/.365 triple slash line, good for an 82 wRC+ at the level. He has also seen very little action during his trips to the majors, having only accumulated two unproductive plate appearances all year, so don't expect him to make much of a difference. With the Yankees barely holding onto their playoff hopes, and the presence of John Ryan Murphy, it is unlikely that we will see Romine play any meaningful innings, unless something goes horribly wrong (knock on everything).

This is just another example of Francisco Cervelli's inability to stay on the field. Maybe he's better fairly soon and maybe he's out for the year, but despite his skills as a catcher, it's clear he's not the most reliable players on the field. He has another two years of arbitration before he's a free agent, so hopefully one of these years he'll be able to stay healthy.