During his long recovery from the last of several concussions in his career, Francisco Cervelli has insisted that he does not want to stop being a receiver in the Pirates. After months of rest and rehabilitation, plus countless cognitive and physical tests, the Venezuelan is approaching a possible return to action.
The 33-year-old veteran was behind the plate on both Tuesday and Wednesday, with all the equipment of a catcher, to receive shipments from the suspended reliever Keone Kela during a pair of simulated games.
Cervelli still does not have the approval to play in real matches, said Pirates sports medicine director Todd Tomczyk. However, he added that the Pittsburgh team looks forward to the progress the Valencian has made.
What is not known is what the next step will be. Cervelli, on the 60-day disabled list right now, must be approved by the Pirates, MLB and the MLB Players Association to get back into action. He hasn't played since May 25.
Cervelli is in the last season of a three-year, $ 31 million contract with the Pirates. During his rehabilitation, he has played in several positions. However, the veteran has reiterated his desire to be a receiver upon his return.
"I don't know how long it will take, but when everything goes well, I'm going to do what I like," Cervelli said. "I want to play and I hope to be a catcher."