TAMPA, Fla. -- Catcher Francisco Cervelli can immediately recall the date -- Dec. 14 -- when all of his restrictions were lifted. Since then, he has put all his focus toward getting ready for the season.
Cervelli certainly would like to put a rough 2013 behind him. After being given the long-awaited chance to be the Yankees' primary catcher, he fractured his right hand in late April and was suspended for 50 games in August after violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program following Major League Baseball's investigation into the now-shuttered Biogenesis clinic in South Florida.
"Last year was a disaster, and we just take the positives out of everything for being a better person and a better player," Cervelli said Monday outside the team's Minor League complex.
Cervelli, now 100 percent healthy, has been working out since the day he was fully cleared. Unlike last spring, he'll enter camp as the clear backup, as New York signed catcher Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million deal in November.
"I've just got to keep working, having fun and playing baseball," Cervelli said. "Do what they ask me to do, and I know what's my role now, but you never know."