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Dioner Navarro Receives Two Game Suspension; Ekstrom Optioned to Durham

Per Marc Topkin and the Tampa Tribune:

Navarro gets a 2-game suspension, starting tonight, for bumping umpire. C Lobaton recalled from Durham. P Ekstrom optioned to Durham.    

Considering Navarro's suspension is for only two games, this is a relatively minor move. The Rays want a back-up catcher on hand besides Sean Rodriguez, and Ekstrom was the easiest person to demote. Between yesterday's off-day and the recent success of the Rays' starters, the bullpen is exceptionally rested at the moment and can survive two days with only six members. And for those not following the minors, Lobaton is a 25-year-old catching prospect that is praised for his defensive work. He's not as strong offensively as Jaso, but he's hit well since his recent promotion to Durham (~19 ABs, so take it for what it is). 

My hunch: this is the last time we see Ekstrom in the majors for now. Joaquin Benoit has been dominating down in Triple-A (8 IP, 16 K, 2 BB, 7 H) and I would be surprised if he isn't called up when Navarro's suspension is over.

Here's the official release:

Tampa Bay Rays catcher Dioner Navarro has been suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount for his inappropriate conduct, including making contact with Umpire Dan Bellino, during the top of the sixth inning of his Club's Friday, April 23rd game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field.  Bob Watson, Vice President of On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.  

Unless appealed, Navarro is scheduled to serve his suspension during Tampa Bay's games tonight and tomorrow night (Wednesday) against the Oakland Athletics at Tropicana Field.