Dioner Navarro injury exposes lack of depth at catcher for Cubs
By Gordon Wittenmyer Staff Reporter August 10, 2013 12:32AM
Updated: September 11, 2013 6:13AM
ST. LOUIS — The injury scare for catcher Dioner Navarro on Wednesday highlighted one of the biggest deficiencies in the Cubs’ organization.
Navarro, who initially appeared to be hurt seriously in a collision at the plate, probably will avoid the disabled list after he was examined Friday in Chicago and diagnosed with a Grade 1 sprain.
But when looking to call up a catcher for a few days, the Cubs had no one who had earned a spot on the 40-man roster. They selected 33-year-old J.C. Boscan, who was signed as a minor-league free agent in November for much-needed depth in the system.
The Cubs have almost every other every-day position covered with well-regarded prospects.
“Catching is an area we’re thin, and we know it,” said general manager Jed Hoyer, whose front office traded away Geovany Soto last year and Steve Clevenger last month. “We talk about it all the time: ‘How do you acquire catching?’
“It’s going to be a priority over the next couple of years, to find a lot of catching. We’ve made pitching such a priority [the last two drafts and in trades], but that’s an area where we’re very thin, no question.”
Reliever Matt Guerrier, who suffered an elbow injury Wednesday, has been diagnosed with a “flexor mass” injury that is likely to require surgery, but not Tommy John surgery, the Cubs said.
◆ Outfield prospect Jorge Soler (leg fracture) is to be examined in Chicago by team doctors and have another bone scan Monday to determine whether he can return to action before Class A Daytona’s season ends in a few weeks. He’s a candidate for the Arizona Fall League.
◆ Because of his .359 average with men in scoring position, as well as manager Dale Sveum’s desire to get Nate Schierholtz a day off, David DeJesus batted cleanup for the first time in his career Friday. “It’s pretty crazy,” said DeJesus, who has batted in all nine spots as a big-leaguer. “Completes the full cycle. I can die happy.”
◆ Sveum said the club has no plans to skip or otherwise rest Jeff Samardzija — who has struggled the last month — as he approaches a career-high innings total. “As long as we feel he’s not getting tired or losing velocity, we don’t have any plans of doing anything,” Sveum said.