Francisco Cervelli has taken a blunt approach this season. He describes his hitting style and his day-to-day devices in simplistic terms.

He does not show up to the ballpark with expectations. As he did on Opening Day and thereafter, Cervelli arrives and waits to learn if he will be in the lineup. So far, he has started eight of 11 games.

At the plate, he isn’t complicating things: "See the ball and hit the ball."

It’s working. Cervelli, 27 and in his sixth major league season, is hitting .360 and fixing a grip on the starting catcher position. After a deflating 2012 season, Cervelli is making strides toward avoiding another downturn in his career.

"Cervy’s done a great job," manager Joe Girardi said before Sunday’s game, in which Cervelli singled and walked. "Did I expect him to step up? He’s worked his tail end off. He really has. You look at what he did last year, getting sent down in a tough situation, worked really, really hard. No, I’m not really surprised. I appreciate the effort he has given us and what he has done to get back and play at this level."

Cervelli’s resurgence has comes after a season spent almost entirely in Triple-A. The demotion, which happened two days before the start of the major league season last year, affected him as he shuttled by bus through the International League.

This past offseason, he played winter ball in Venezuela. He used it as an opportunity to finally find consistency, doing so by being a minimalist. He would only focus on his defense and think about hitting only when it came time to go up to the plate.

During at-bats, he looked to work on hitting breaking balls and in different situations. The fact that winter ball pitchers heavily relied on breaking balls was a boon. Facing several such pitchers each game was another plus. And that he had to hit without the benefit of scouting reports allowed Cervelli to improve as he had wanted to.