Cervelli accepts MLB's 50-game suspension
Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was among the 13 players suspended on Monday for violating the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in relation to Major League Baseball's Biogenesis investigation. Yankees Minor League outfielder Fernando Martinez was also suspended.
Cervelli, along with 11 others -- including Martinez -- has been suspended for 50 games without pay. Fellow Yankee Alex Rodriguez has been suspended through the end of this season and all of next season -- effective Thursday -- for violations of both the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement. Rodriguez, who plans to appeal his 211-game suspension, was in the Yankees' starting lineup in Chicago on Monday, playing third base.
"We are disappointed with the news today of the suspension of Francisco Cervelli," the Yankees said in a statement. "It's clear that he used bad judgment."
"I think the biggest thing is people learn from things that you've done in your life and you try to grow from it and take time to reflect on what you did and what you want to do in the future," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Monday. "For Cervelli, I think he had made strides this year as a player. I want him to come into Spring Training ready to go and try to learn from what has happened in [his] life."
None of the other players will appeal their suspensions. Among those disciplined is former Yankees catcher Jesus Montero, who is currently on the roster of the Mariners' Triple-A Tacoma team. Former Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera was suspended last season for a violation of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in connection to Biogenesis, and he will not be suspended further.
Cervelli, 27, has appeared in 17 games for the Yankees this season, batting .269 with three homers and eight RBIs. Over 201 career games -- all with New York -- he has hit .271 with eight home runs and 79 RBIs.
Cervelli has been on the disabled list with a fractured right hand since late April. Girardi said on Monday that Cervelli is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday to remove the hardware in his hand.
A number of players -- including Rodriguez and former National League Most Valuable Player Award winner Ryan Braun, who was suspended last month for the rest of the season -- were linked to the South Florida anti-aging clinic and banned substances in a Miami New Times report earlier this year. Cervelli was not one of the original players, but his name later leaked in a Yahoo! Sports report.
"Major League Baseball has worked diligently with the Players Association for more than a decade to make our Joint Drug Program the best in all of professional sports," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "I am proud of the comprehensive nature of our efforts -- not only with regard to random testing, groundbreaking blood testing for human Growth Hormone and one of the most significant longitudinal profiling programs in the world, but also our investigative capabilities, which proved vital to the Biogenesis case. Upon learning that players were linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, we vigorously pursued evidence that linked those individuals to violations of our Program. We conducted a thorough, aggressive investigation guided by facts so that we could justly enforce our rules."