White Sox starting catcher placed on 15-day disabled list due to hamstring injury suffered in 9-0 loss against New York Yankees on Tuesday. Team purchases contract of Omar Navarez from Class AAA Charlotte
Alex Avila’s injury issues continue to plague the veteran catcher as he was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday. This is the second time Avila has been placed on the disabled list this season due to a hamstring injury.
Avila, who battled injuries in his stint with the Detroit Tigers from 2009-2015, appeared to be coming around offensively lately. In his last 15 games, Avila hit .271 with 3 home runs. His on-base percentage was .407 and he had a slugging percentage of .500. Avila went 1-for-2 before being replaced by Dioner Navarro in Tuesday’s game against the New York Yankees.
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The White Sox are already dealing with a wrath of injuries to other players, and Avila’s latest injury could become another setback for a team fighting to remain in contention. Avila was sharing catching duties with Navarro this season, but now the White Sox will have to rely on a young catcher that has never appeared in a MLB game. With Avila’s injury, the White Sox purchased the contract of Omar Navarez from Class AAA Charlotte.
Navarez was selected in the Rule 5 draft in 2013, albeit the minor league version of the draft from the Tampa Bay Rays. After spending 2014 with Class A Full Season Kannapolis Intimidators, Navarez spent time with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem Dash and Class AA Birmingham Barons during the 2015 season. Navarez played 13 games this season for the Barons, and 41 games with the Knights.
With the Knights, Navarez owned a slash line of .245/.292/.329 through 156 plate appearances this season. The White Sox will have to rely on Navarro as the full-time catcher with Avila out, and the pitching staff might suffer the most. According to Jeff Sullivan at fangraphs.com, the White Sox have experienced a dramatic decrease in the number of pitches called strikes this season for its pitching staff.
The White Sox will need a healthy Avila for the second half, and they will have to adjust in his absence for the next two weeks. With former catcher Tyler Flowers returning this weekend with the Atlanta Braves, the decision to non-tender him in the off-season only looks more ludicrous than ever before.