TAMPA, Fla. -- So far in Spring Training, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli is giving opponents reason to think twice about trying to run on him.
Cervelli threw out the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins attempting a steal of second base in the Yanks' 10-5 loss on Friday. Cervelli also threw out two runners in Thursday's game against the Astros and is 5-for-6 in catching potential basestealers this spring.
"I just think he worked hard at it," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He had a chance last year to catch every day. He also went to winter ball, and I think he worked really hard at it.
"I think he got a little out of whack from maybe rushing or trying to do too much, and he was able to go down there and really get it back together like he had when he first came up for us throwing the baseball. It's shown up."
Last season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Cervelli caught 27 of 90 runners stealing (30 percent). He was even more impressive in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he gunned down nine of 14 attempting to steal.
"[Before], I tried to throw the ball too hard and I tried to get the ball before it was in my glove," Cervelli said. "Now I work relaxed behind the plate. Same energy, but I just try to be more relaxed and let my body go."