Navarro put on 15-day DL after cutting fingers, hand on netting

Updated: April 5, 2008, 2:36 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Dioner Navarro was upbeat Saturday, even with bandages covering two fingers on his right hand. Hey, the Tampa Bay catcher said, at least there were no broken bones.

Navarro was coming off the field after the second inning of the Rays' game against the New York Yankees on Friday night when he missed a dugout step on his way to the bench. He reached for something to try to break his fall, and sliced open his hand on the netting designed to protect players from foul balls.

"I almost threw up when I saw it," said Navarro, who got eight stitches on his ring finger and four on his middle one. "I was like, 'Whoaaa.' I didn't know a piece of net could do this."

The Rays placed Navarro on the 15-day disabled list and called up Mike DiFelice from Triple-A Durham. Shawn Riggins, who replaced Navarro after the injury, was behind the plate Saturday and Rays manager Joe Maddon said DiFelice could get his first start Monday.

"It was just so fast and it's really an ugly cut so we're thinking two weeks," Maddon said. "Hopefully that's all it's going to be."

Maddon said Elliot Johnson, who was the designated hitter Saturday in his first major league game, volunteered to be the emergency catcher after Navarro went down. Johnson practiced in the bullpen but wasn't needed Friday night.

"You've got to love that," Maddon said. "Seriously, haven't caught since what, high school, and then said, 'Well, if it comes down to Yankee Stadium my first game I'll go behind the plate.' That takes a lot right there as far as I'm concerned."

Navarro was 3-for-9 with an RBI in three games at the time of the injury. He batted .227 with nine homers and 44 RBIs in 119 games last season.

"It's OK," Navarro said. "I see the positive thing about it. It could've been worse."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press