Courtesy of Point Park University

Friday Insider: Training regimen fuels Cervelli resurgence


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Francisco Cervelli tries to get teammates fired up after his pinch-hit home run Thursday. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

CHICAGO -- Francisco Cervelli lifted his right arm to reveal a baseball-sized welt on the inside of his forearm.  The mark was from a hit-by-pitch the previous night — his ninth this season, a career-high — and he was icing the area to prepare for a game in a few hours.

“They all throw hard,” he told me, smiling. “Four times in two weeks. Same spot, too.”

Cervelli missed two games after being hit on that spot during a win over the White Sox last month. He was also stricken with flu-like symptoms in late May, forcing him to miss three games. That’s about all that’s slowed him. The 31-year-old leads National League catchers in multiple offensive categories, putting him in position to represent the Pirates at the All-Star Game in Washington D.C. on July 17.

It took more than a bag of ice, though, to keep Cervelli on the field for a breakthrough in his 11th major-league season.

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