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4/21: News & Notes

  • The Jeff Niemann move last night wasn't the only one the Rays appeared set to make. Though Niemann was pushed out to clear room for 1B Dan Johnson in the immediate, the team will also activate C Dioner Navarro following the conclusion of his rehab assignment tonight for Vero Beach. To make room for Navarro, it looks like C Mike DiFelice has lost out on the battle for the backup catcher's position to Shawn Riggans. Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that DiFelice was seen saying goodbye and hugging teammates following the conclusion of Sunday's game. He could be claimed on waivers as a result of the Rays' having removed him from the active roster.
  • In addition, with RHP Matt Garza also soon to return, Topkin speculates that OF Justin Ruggiano will be sent down later this week to make room for him. RHP Andy Sonnanstine was moved forward in the rotation one day to fill Niemann's slot, while it appears as though Garza will start the opening game of the Boston series on Friday. Also on the injury front, IF Ben Zobrist took BP at the Naimoli Complex, but is still a few weeks from returning.
  • Some snippets from Marc Lancaster's Notes column in the Tribune:
  • The Rays say they are expecting attendance for the three-game series at Disney that begins Tuesday to be similar to last year's numbers. Three games against the Rangers last May drew an average of 8,806 fans. ... With Johnson joining the team, Maddon said he may give Carlos Pena another game or two at DH to make sure his right hamstring is fully healthy. Pena still appeared to be favoring his leg Sunday. ... The Rays are not believed to have serious interest in Frank Thomas, who was released by the Blue Jays on Sunday.