Tampa Bay Rays catcher Chris Gimenez has been terrific this spring. Unfortunately, the four-year player has become a victim of options and has been sent down to Triple-A.
Gimenez batted .368 with one home run, five RBI and three doubles in 38 at-bats in Spring Training. He has also been outstanding on defense as he posted a perfect fielding percentage at catcher (52 innings), first base (15 innings) and third base (24 innings). These numbers prove that he deserves a spot on the Opening Day roster, but since backup catcher Jose Lobaton is out of options, Gimenez is the one who has to pay for it.
Lobaton has not been terrible at the plate, as he has posted a .257 batting average with one home run and five RBI in 35 at-bats. The problem is Gimenez has been better offensively, which should have stood for something. Not to mention he has proven that he can play three different positions around the diamond.
“Gimmy had a great camp,” Rays manager Joe Maddon told the Tampa Tribune. “He had a great end of the last season, also. Again, I can’t deny there are rules in the game that make you do certain things at certain times. That’s not denigrating Lobaton. I think Lobaton has done better as of late, also. But it is just one of those moments that occur in the game. As much as you don’t like it it’s just part of the business.”
The fact is the Rays were not prepared to let Lobaton get claimed off of waivers if they could help it. Not to mention, this was the easy decision for management because it is a way the organization can keep both players.
Gimenez must now work hard in the minors and prepare himself on a daily basis in case he ever gets called back up to the big leagues.
“If something happens I’ll be there waiting,” Gimenez told the Tampa Tribune. “They said they fully anticipate me helping them win a lot of games this year at some point. It’s a long season.”
Tampa Bay has to be thankful for having a talented, responsible player in their organization who understands both sides of the game.