04/22/08 8:18 PM ET
Rays activate Navarro from 15-day DL
DiFelice designated for assignment to make room for backstop
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Navarro suffered lacerations to his right ring and middle fingers on April 4 at Yankees Stadium after slipping on the dugout and grabbing the netting trying to prevent his fall. He played in four games for Class A Vero Beach on a rehab assignment and went 4-for-10 with six walks, a double, a home run and four RBIs.
"I feel really comfortable," Navarro said. "I'm swinging the bat really good. My catching, my throwing, my hitting, it feels pretty good. ... I did everything [at Vero Beach]. I think my right-handed hitting is locked in, I did so much work with the right side. I did everything I had to do. ... I'm ready to go."
Rays manager Joe Maddon, who said he nearly became sick by the sight of Navarro's injury, said his catcher's hand "looks great" now.
"He's been doing a great job over there with the Vero club, throwing a lot, and throwing well, hitting a lot and hitting well," Maddon said. "[He's] drawing his walks. Jaime Nelson, our Minor League catching instructor, thought he looked really good. [It] looks like it's all systems go now."
While Maddon was happy to have Navarro back, he was sad to say goodbye to DiFelice.
"Mike did a great job," Maddon said. "He made a great impression on the whole group -- pitchers, coaching staff. [He] had some really big hits for us. [He] caught well, threw well, did a really nice job. That's a tough decision right there, when you have to let a guy like that go back down there."
DiFelice will have to clear waivers in order for the Rays to keep him in their organization.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.