More cuts: Perez, Jaso, Lobaton, Richard
The Rays made four more cuts today, optioning OF Fernando Perez, C John Jaso and C Jose Lobaton to the minors and reassigning 1B Chris Richard to minor-league camp.
None of the moves were necessarily surprising, as none of the four figured to make the team, though perhaps sooner than expected. The moves trim the roster to 45, with 20 more to go before opening day.
Manager Joe Maddon had been raving recently about the progress Jaso has made defensively, so the demotion will give him a chance to get more work done in minor-league camp. Alvin Colina will be the third catcher for the rest of spring training.
Perez said he's just happy he's getting healthy after offseason shoulder surgery, and acknowledged the need for him to play more regularly to work on things.
"I have to have better at bats from the left side to where I'm not striking out as much," Perez said. "That’s pretty much the thing that is standing between me being a platoon kind of guy that just hits against lefties and occasionally against righties and a guy who plays everyday. And that's something I can do whether I'm super healthy or not. That’s kind of the task at hand."
Jaso was also pleased with his progress, saying he's a lot more comfortable and confident now if he does get a shot at the big leagues at some point this year.
"Joe (Maddon) said he sees a totally different catcher than what I showed up at day one," Jaso said. "And he said they gave me the opportunity and basically I took it, and they're really happy with that. It's been a grind the last couple weeks but the best part of that grind is it paying off."