ST. PETERSBURG -- Dioner Navarro's "two-day vacation" is over, and the catcher is back with the Rays after serving a two-game suspension for bumping an umpire Friday night.
Navarro missed both games of the Oakland series and said he was sorry for the actions that led to the suspension, but he is ready to get back on the field. He wore a brace on his knee before Thursday night's game, but he said there will be no limitations caused by the sore right leg that kept him out of two games prior to being suspended. If anything, Navarro said, the punishment worked out well because it gave him more time to heal.
"It worked out perfectly," Navarro said. "Obviously I wouldn't plan it that way, but it came out fine. I'm ready, excited, can't wait."
John Jaso got the start at catcher over Navarro against Kansas City, simply because of the way he has been playing lately, manager Joe Maddon said. Jaso, who was called up from Triple-A Durham when catcher Kelly Shoppach went on the 15-day disabled list, is batting .450 with three doubles, a home run, nine RBIs and six walks to just one strikeout.
"Navvy's ready to go tonight. I just chose to go with Jaso," Maddon said. "He's been hot, quite frankly. I just cannot walk away from Jaso right now. I told Navvy that straight-up, and he understood it. He's a great team player."