Yesterday, the Rays placed Jason Bartlett on the DL and recalled Kelly Shoppach. For the time being the Rays will go with three catchers. When Bartlett returns from the DL on June 14, the Rays will have to make a decision on who the two catchers will be.

Joe Maddon addressed how he will handle three catchers, and unless his tune changes in the next nine days, Dioner Navarro is going to be the odd-man out

“Primarily, you’re going to see a lot of starts out of Shopp and Jaso, and you’re going to see Navi filter in there some, probably defensively and kind of like a caddy, in a sense, to Shopp right now,” Maddon said. “Although we’ll see how Shopp does to being pushed (through) these number of innings, it may alter what we can and can’t do with him right now.”

In other words, the Rays starting catching platoon consists of John Jaso and Shoppach. Navarro’s playing time will only be dictated by how healthy Shoppach is. So unless Shoppach needs another trip to the DL in nine days, Navarro will likely be demoted to Durham.

Would a demotion mark the end of Navi’s days in a Rays uniform? Not likely. Shoppach has only played 100 games once in his career. Nobody would be surprised if he makes another trip to the DL. And even if Shoppach stays healthy, the Rays will want Navarro as a third catcher in September.  And because of that, there is little chance the Rays will trade Navarro.

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9 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    When your boss describes you as the "caddy" to your replacement, you've got to figure your days are numbered. Ouch.

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  2. Rome says:

    if someone wants Navi, trade him. He has a good arm behind the plate but that is it. Navi is not much better then Jaso when it comes to techniques behind the dish.

    If we were to trade Navi, yes we would be losing a nice guy who has been there since '06. But, we still have Jose Lobaton who is a skinnier, cheaper, and maybe better hitter then Navi. Another option could be Colina. Colina is a poor-man's Michel Hernandez.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      this is fair. and maybe Lobaton or Colina are suitable defensively to be a 3rd catcher. I dont know. And if another team really needs a young catcher with big league experience and a contract that is not too painful, maybe the Rays can find a decent offer. You have to think that if Jason Kendall can get a 2-year contract, somebody would want Navi.

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      • Rome says:

        Kendall is a different case though. Kendall is a different story. He is a career .290 hitter who is a three time all-star, granted that's more of attribute to being the best rep from the Pittsburg Pirates, but who is counting. Kendall is also a better defensive catcher who moves his body to the ball. Kendall looks to know what he is doing at the plate as well. Navi in late '07 and in '08 didn't do too much and took what the pitcher gave him and essentially dipped and dunked. I don't know what happened to Navi in '09 or this year.

        I can't imagine anyone would want to trade for Navi. I can see someone taking a flyer and picking him off of waivers, but not to trade for Navi.

        Kendall is not a bad guy to have, especially for a young team or young rotation. Navi, not so much.

        I am just waiting for Nevin Ashley. That's all I am saying.

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  3. Matt says:

    The light bulb is finally going off in the Rays' heads. First it was cutting Burrell and calling up Blalock and now benching and demoting Navi. Thank god!

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  4. Ben says:

    I wouldn't assume that Navarro is out of a job, perhaps he is the one they are leaning to keeping. Jaso and Shoppach could be playing for the other remaining catcher position. I don't know.

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  5. Don says:

    Navarro will be running his very own taco stand...this time next year!
    Thank You!

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