The Marlins announced that catcher Francisco Cervelli will be placed on the seven-day concussion protocol injured list. A corresponding move will be made prior to tomorrow’s game. Cervelli started for Miami tonight in the second game of its doubleheader with the Nationals, though Cervelli was replaced by Jorge Alfaro prior to the start of the third inning.
While no concussion news is good, tonight’s news is particularly troubling due to Cervelli’s long history with such injuries. This is at least the seventh concussion Cervelli has suffered during his career, and it was less than 14 months ago that Cervelli seemed to intimate that he was done with catching, though he rather emphatically walked back that statement a few days later. Even if Cervelli’s symptoms (hopefully) subside quickly this time, one would imagine the Marlins might keep him out of action for longer than the seven-day minimum just to make absolutely sure Cervelli is ready, given all the past concussions on his record.
Cervelli inked a one-year, $2MM deal with Miami last offseason to provide some more experience at catcher, and since Alfaro was only activated from the IL on Friday, Cervelli has been a key player both behind the plate and at the plate. Entering Saturday, Cervelli had a .250/.361/.462 slash line and three home runs over 61 plate appearances.
Should Cervelli miss an extended amount of time, the Marlins don’t have a ton of depth behind Alfardo. Chad Wallach is also on the IL, while four other catchers in Miami’s player pool (Will Banfield, Santiago Chavez, Julian Leon, and Brian Navarreto) don’t have any Major League experience.