Rays option Gimenez to Durham; Lobaton is second catcher
Update 11:15 p.m. Gimenez was disappointed, but understood the situation, appreciating the fact the Rays told him point-blank that it was Lobaton's lack of minor league options that led him to getting sent down.
As manager Joe Maddon said, Gimenez "definitely could be in the big leagues right now," but "it's part of the business."
“I’m not going to go down and, like I said last year, be 'Bitter Bob,’ ” Gimenez said. “You’ve just got to take it for what it is, and keep working to keep yourself doing the same things. It’ll just be a matter of time.”
Maddon said they also like Lobaton, and want to see what he can do. Lobaton, who admittedly struggled in hitting .257, said he didn’t know what would happen, telling his wife Monday morning to prepare for anything.
“I’m excited,” Lobaton said. “I know it was a really tough decision for the GM and the manager, cause I know Gimenez was killing the ball. So in the moment when he told me, I was like, 'Oh wow.’ Really sad for (Gimenez). But that’s baseball.”
Developing: The Rays optioned C Chris Gimenez to Triple-A Durham, making C Jose Lobaton the team's second catcher to start the season.
Lobaton will back-up C Jose Molina.
The news wasn't unexpected, as even though Gimenez had a much better spring, Lobaton didn''t have any minor league options remaining, so he could be lost if sent down.
Gimenez said he was disappointed but understood the situation, and appreciated the honesty from manager Joe Maddon, who told him he was ready for the big leagues, but the option is the reason he's getting sent down.
The Rays also reassigned OF Shelley Duncan, OF Jason Bourgeois and INF Mike Fontenot to minor league camp.