Navi back; DiFelice down
C Dioner Navarro said he's ready for a "fresh start," back in the starting lineup tonight against the Jays in Disney after a stint on the 15-day disabled list (finger cuts).
Navarro's return meant another move had to be made, and veteran backup Mike DiFelice was sent down to Triple-A, with manager Joe Maddon hoping he clears waivers after such a "tough decision" between him and Shawn Riggans.
1B/DH Dan Johnson, claimed off waivers Friday, arrived on a red-eye flight Monday morning, then tried to get some swings at Tropicana Field. In the two weeks he was in "limbo," on waivers, he had trouble finding a place to work out, and had to take personal hitting lessons. But when he arrived at the Trop, the doors were locked and he couldn't get in, and he laughed about it afterwards.
Johnson is chomping at the bit after a wild spring; a few weeks before spring training with the As, where he's spent the last three seasons, Johnson suffered a bone infection around his sinus area. Originally, doctors said surgery would put him out 6-9 months, but he used home remedies and two-weeks in the hospital before getting released....
Maddon said he's going to give Johnson a day or two to work out here, get some batting practice, before deciding on his role, likely backup first base and DH.
*Carlos Pena (tight right hamstring) will spend at least one more at DH, Maddon said, with the chance he'll be back Wednesday in the field. Maddon said Pena probably could have played today, but he wasn't convincing enough.
*Jason Bartlett is back at shortstop, saying he's feeling "better" after a nagging arm ache the past week.
The Rays return to their "home-away-from-home" tonight through Thursday at Champion Stadium in Disney's Wide World of Sports. Tampa Bay swept a three-game set from Texas last season, and look to do the same this time around against the Blue Jays.
-- JOE SMITH