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Rays send 7 to Minors, clearing up catcher competition

Maile, Casali among those optioned; Norris will be backed up by Sucre
March 29, 2017

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays optioned three players and reassigned four on Wednesday, and they told catcher Jesus Sucre he will make the team.Rays manager Kevin Cash noted that new acquisition Derek Norris will essentially be the team's everyday catcher.Catchers Luke Maile and Curt Casali highlighted the players optioned

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Rays optioned three players and reassigned four on Wednesday, and they told catcher Jesus Sucre he will make the team.
Rays manager Kevin Cash noted that new acquisition Derek Norris will essentially be the team's everyday catcher.
Catchers Luke Maile and Curt Casali highlighted the players optioned to Minor League camp, along with right-hander Ryan Garton.
Left-hander Justin Marks, right-hander Diego Moreno, catcher Michael McKenry and outfielder Player Page for Shane Peterson were reassigned to the Minors.
That leaves 34 players in camp, with five likely headed to the disabled list, including shortstop Matt Duffy, outfielder Colby Rasmus, catcher Wilson Ramos and right-handers Shawn Tolleson and Brad Boxberger.

Maile told reporters he didn't take the news well.
"But I'm going to handle it professionally, just like I always try to do," Maile said. "I feel like I've done a pretty good job of that. Obviously, they thought I didn't give them the best chance to be successful this year. And that's fine. Obviously, it hurts. All I can try and do is go to Triple-A and try to prove them wrong."
Cash called the decisions he made "difficult," noting that the catching decision went to the wire.
"We had some unique situations that have come up with the Derek Norris signing," Cash said. "And Jesus Sucre, he's had a solid camp. There's no doubt about it. That's not slighting what Curt and Luke did this camp. Both of them took to some of the organization['s suggestions] and made themselves better. But we felt right now, heading into Opening Day, that Derek and Jesus give us the best chance to win games."
Sucre was obviously happy with the news.
"I came here and I was working very hard to do what I could," Sucre said. "I knew that I had a small chance to make it. So I put in all the work. I did everything I could. And toward the end there, it got a little sticky. It got a little difficult. But I was able to accomplish it."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.