Saturday, June 09, 2007

Rays sign catcher for Durham

The Devil Rays have signed catcher Michel Hernandez of the independent Somerset Patriots and sent him to Class AAA Durham. Hernandez, who was hitting .342 with three home runs and 16 RBIs in 25 games, played for the Yankees in 2003 and was at Class AAA Memphis (Cardinals) last year.

That's the first step to clear up a deteriorating position. Two of the four catchers on Tampa Bay's 40-man roster (Shawn Riggans and Josh Paul) are on the disabled list, while the major-league starter (Dioner Navarro) was hit in the throat when a pitch bounced in the dirt Friday. Also, Josh Arhart with the Biscuits is out with a back injury.

The Rays sent Christian Lopez from Class A Vero Beach to Durham as an emergency and had already promoted Matt Spring from Class A Columbus to the Biscuits to adjust for Arhart and take some of the workload off John Jaso.

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