In a move that was long overdue, the Rays have finally recalled Matt Joyce to the active roster while optioning Dioner Navarro to AAA Durham. Navarro had been playing somewhat better of late but there is a reason clubs do not carry three catchers until September and the lack of athleticism on the bench and skillful bat has hurt the club. According to comments earlier today, Joyce’s arm still does not hold up to everyday play too well so he may need to take some spins at DH but that’s a win-win because Hank Blalock gets less time at DH. Carl Crawford left the game in the second inning with a shoulder strain which no doubt accelerated this move but so far, it is just a day to day injury. Ironically, Joyce will likely get his first start tomorrow night against Edwin Jackson who the Rays dealt to acquire Joyce prior to the 2009 season.
It is rather unfortunate that a key cog to the 2008 pennant club has to go back to the minors in this, but Navarro is the third best option for the club at catcher at this point in the season and Joyce is simply a bigger need for this team at this time. Navarro will at worst be back by September when rosters expand or could find himself worked into a trade with a team as the Rays work to hopefully fortify the roster for a playoff run in the coming weeks.