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Riggans heads to disabled list

Posted Apr 13, 2009 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Apr 13, 2009 at 11:24 PM

The dropped a surprise postgame roster move, announcing backup catcher Shawn Riggans had been placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis and Michel Hernandez’s contract had been purchased from Durham.

I didn’t have time to stick around and ask Joe Maddon about the situation because I had to file my main story for the newspaper, but it is now rather apparent that Maddon engaged in some gamesmanship, to put it one way, before yesterday’s game in Baltimore.

The plan all along had been for Riggans to start, giving Dioner Navarro the traditional day game off following a night game. But when Navarro’s name was in the lineup, Maddon explained to us that he wanted his switch-hitting starter so he could have as many left-handed hitters as possible facing Orioles starter Adam Eaton. With no hints that anything was wrong with Riggans—he homered last Thursday in his only appearance this year—we bought the explanation. And now it makes a lot more sense.

This is a tough blow for Riggans, who has been racked by injuries the last few years—including an infection last September that kept him out of the playoffs. But at least the Rays have a familiar hand to turn to in Hernandez, who filled in for Riggans last October and was with the team through the final weekend of spring training. He is expected to be here tomorrow.

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