Blue Jays recall Josh Thole from Buffalo, Dioner Navarro to DL


The Toronto Blue Jays have made some roster moves ahead of their series finale with the Baltimore Orioles. According to a team press release via Twitter, the Blue Jays will place catcher Dioner Navarro on the 15-day disabled list and have recalled catcher Josh Thole from Triple-A Buffalo.

Dioner Navarro, who did not appear in Wednesday’s win over Baltimore, was apparently hurt while running the bases on Tuesday according to Brendan Kennedy of The Toronto Star. Despite being used in limited duty as both the back-up catcher and occasional DH, Navarro was hitting  a solid .267/.294/.333 with 4 RBI in 34 plate appearances.

He’ll be replaced on the roster by Josh Thole, who has spent the entire month of April with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons after being optioned at the end of Spring Training. In 8 games with the Bisons, Thole was hitting a very similar .269/.345/.269 with 3 RBI of his own.

Thole and Navarro were part of an interesting catching triangle debate this spring. After signing Russell Martin to be the everyday catcher, the Blue Jays did everything they could to find a trade for Navarro but were unable to get anything done. That left the Blue Jays with no other option but to send Thole, who has served as R.A. Dickey‘s personal caddy catcher over the last several seasons (both in New York and Toronto), to Triple-A as roster depth. That decision was made easier with Martin adapting well to catching the knuckleball.

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The presence of Thole back on the Major League roster will present an interesting situation. The results have been pretty good for Dickey throwing to Martin, but he’s also walking 5.6 batters per nine innings. The Blue Jays could opt to have Thole resume catching Dickey, hoping that the comfort aids in helping with Dickey’s control.However, Toronto may also opt to keep Martin catching Dickey for the sake of evolving that comfort. With Thole likely only a temporary measure until Navarro returns from the DL (barring a trade), keeping Martin continually exposed to the pitch may be the better option.

Regardless, the presence of Thole’s bat in the line-up needs to be as limited as possible. Thole has been an immense disappointment at the plate for the Blue Jays, slashing .213/.289/.261 since being acquired with Dickey from the New York Mets. With Toronto already dealing with Jose Bautista being out of the line-up for the next couple of days (and possibly looking at the DL), the Blue Jays won’t be too keen on sacrificing any more offense than they already need to.

Next: Shoulder injury may send Jose Bautista to DL

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