TORONTO -- Francisco Cervelli swapped his catcher's mitt for a first baseman's glove on Sunday morning, taking some ground balls on the artificial turf at Rogers Centre.
Cervelli has never played first base, but with regular first baseman Mark Teixeira on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has tossed Cervelli's name into the mix as a backup to Kelly Johnson.
"I catch ground balls everywhere, because I'm, like, the 26th man," Cervelli said. "If anybody got hurt, we don't want that, [but] I've got to do it. If he asks me to play, I'll play."
Girardi said that he could also use infielders Dean Anna and Yangervis Solarte at first base, but he does not consider catcher Brian McCann or outfielder Alfonso Soriano to be options there at this time.
For Girardi, Cervelli fits the bill because he has shown the ability to be an emergency infielder. Cervelli has appeared in four games at third base and two games at second base during his big league career. He played an inning at second base last season.
"Cervy has taken a lot of ground balls, and he has played infield before; not recently, but he has played infield before," Girardi said. "He takes a lot of ground balls. He looks pretty competent at it."