Navarro dodges serious injury in collision

Navarro dodges serious injury in collision

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Dioner Navarro appeared to be injured badly after a collision at home plate Saturday, but X-rays revealed no breaks on his left leg, only a nerve contusion on his left shin.

The Rays' catcher was carted from the field after Jacque Jones of the Twins collided with him while trying to score from second base on a fourth-inning single by Brendan Harris.

Navarro held onto the ball after receiving the throw from Gabe Kapler, and Jones was called out. Navarro then fell to the ground holding his left leg as he came to a rest on the grass just past the clay around home plate.

Assistant athletic trainer Nick Paparesta and manager Joe Maddon ran to Navarro's side.

"[Navarro] was in a bit of pain, but some of that could've just been the shock of the blow, because he was hit pretty good," Maddon said. "He was in pain on the field, but sometimes you see situations where it looks pretty bad and turns out to be OK."

Medical personnel from Charlotte Sports Park quickly got involved as well before a cart was driven in from center field.

Navarro was loaded onto the cart and driven from the field accompanied by head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield. He then left the Rays' complex to have X-rays taken.

"He should be fine," said Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay's executive vice president of baseball operations, who noted that the injury should not interfere with Opening Day. "We'll re-evaluate [the injury] in a couple of days."

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Jones described what happened on the play.

"I came in sliding," Jones said. "He didn't give me much of the plate to work with. I came up and kind of got him when I popped up. I was trying to find the plate.

"You never want to see anybody get hurt. But especially here, because you work hard in the offseason to get ready for the season, and then to get hurt in Spring Training, nobody wants that. I don't know how bad he's hurt, but he had to be helped off the field, so probably will be a few weeks at least."

Initially, Jones did not realize Navarro was hurt.

"No, I was worried about myself at first," Jones said. "I kind of banged up my knee. When I saw he didn't get up, I sensed something was wrong."

Jones also got thrown out at the plate by Kapler in the second on a play that also had contact.

"You know, you never want to make a collision," said Jones when asked about his thoughts as he approached a second collision. "Nothing good comes out of it. Sometimes a catcher gets hurt. Sometimes a position player gets hurt. But you just want to slide and make everything clean -- either be out or safe and go on to the next play. I never want to cause a collision."

Jones called both plays "clean plays."

"He did a good job of blocking the plate both times and didn't give me any of the plate to work with," Jones said.

Maddon concurred with Jones' view of the plays and said he had no issues with what happened.

"No, of course not," Maddon said. "Clean on both sides. It was a pretty good collision. [Jones] hit him pretty good, and that's just part of the game and how it happens."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.