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Rays acquire d'Arnaud with 2 catchers on IL

Zunino joins Perez on shelf; Rays call up Bemboom, activate Meadows
@juanctoribio
May 10, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- With Mike Zunino (quad) and Michael Perez (oblique) both on the injured list, the Rays acquired Travis d'Arnaud from the Dodgers for cash considerations, which gives the team a veteran catching option on the roster. To make room for d'Arnaud on the 40-man roster, the Rays moved

ST. PETERSBURG -- With Mike Zunino (quad) and Michael Perez (oblique) both on the injured list, the Rays acquired Travis d'Arnaud from the Dodgers for cash considerations, which gives the team a veteran catching option on the roster.

To make room for d'Arnaud on the 40-man roster, the Rays moved third baseman Matt Duffy (hamstring) to the 60-day injured list.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Friday's game that the team is expecting Zunino to miss four to five weeks with the injury, and there's still some uncertainty with Perez's timetable, although most expect him to miss two to three weeks. With the injuries, the team was left with Nick Ciuffo, who entered Friday with 18 games of big league experience, and Anthony Bemboom, who just received his first big league callup.

d'Arnaud is an interesting addition for the Rays. The 30-year-old catcher is a career .242 hitter with his best year coming as a member of the Mets in 2015, when he finished with 12 home runs and a .825 OPS.

However, he played in just four games with the Mets in 2018 and has played in 11 games this season, hitting .083 in 26 at-bats.

Bemboom, 29, has played in the Angels and Rockies organizations, but this is the first time he's been called up to the Major League level. A partial tear in his left thumb during Spring Training has limited him to just five games with Durham, where he was hitting .111 in 18 at-bats.

Ciuffo has earned a reputation of being a good defensive catcher through his time in the Rays system. The former first-round Draft pick, however, has struggled at the plate in the Majors, hitting .175/.244/.275 with one home run.

"We're going to have some guys that are not as familiar with pitchers really come in and get a crash course of understanding and prioritizing the pitching staff," Cash said. "Not necessarily the opposition and what they're doing, but let's focus on the pitching staff and what our guys do, and make sure we're getting the best out of them."

The Rays also activated Austin Meadows on Friday, which will give the Rays a much-needed boost offensively. The 24-year-old outfielder was the best hitter in the lineup before going down with a fractured right thumb on April 20.

"I'm excited," Meadows said. "Just watching [the team] on TV, it's hard. You always want to be out there competing with your guys, so I'm excited."

The Rays also recalled right-hander Casey Sadler and optioned infielder Andrew Velazquez to Triple-A Durham. With the moves, the Rays will carry a 13-man pitching staff into their big weekend series against the Yankees.

Duffy update
Duffy ran the bases on Friday, and the third baseman said he felt good. He also took part in batting practice and fielded ground balls at third base. The next step for Duffy will be to head down to Port Charlotte on Monday and begin playing in rehab games.

"I think he's got close to a week slated in Port Charlotte, with some off-days in there," Cash said. "And then we'll try and get him in Durham."

Juan Toribio covers the Rays for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @juanctoribio.