Pirates' Francisco Cervelli: "I feel good and ready to go."
BRADENTON, Fla. — Francisco Cervelli takes issue with being called a veteran, even if the Pirates catcher is 31 years of age and has seven-plus years of major-league service time.
"At 31 years old, they keep calling me a veteran but I have to show that 31 is still young," Cervelli said upon reporting Tuesday for his 16th MLB spring training camp. "I feel good and ready to go."
Cervelli also is ready for the Pirates to go, even without staff ace Gerrit Cole and five-time All-Star centerfielder Andrew McCutchen. Cole was traded to the Houston Astros and McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants last month.
"It's tough," Cervelli said. "You take Andrew, who for me was the king of Pittsburgh, you know? Andrew was everything for the Pirates. Cole was a No. 1 guy. Best arm I've ever seen in my life.
"It was sad but we've got to move forward. We've got people who can do amazing jobs. The young guys are going to be superstars soon and we've got players from other teams. Andrew is going to be fine with the Giants and Gerrit is going to be fine with the Astros. Best of luck to those guys. They're still family to us, but we've got to move forward."
Cervelli is eager to work with the players the Pirates received in those deals: starting pitcher Joe Musgrove, relievers Kyle Crick and Michael Feliz and third baseman Colin Moran at Pirate City.
"The reaction, I think, is like everybody else: We get sad because we feel like this is a family. But we can come here and feel sorry or keep being sad because, you know…," Cervelli said. "Baseball is not done for them. They're going to other teams and they've got a chance to do something special. But we've got other guys and the mission is the same. It's sad but we've got to keep playing and keep going."
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.