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.