Rays' Kevan Smith: Chance at backup catching job
Smith has a solid chance of securing the backup catching job this spring, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports. "[Kevan's] got major-league reps," said Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash. "He's caught for the White Sox, for the Angels. It's nice to have a guy that has enough under his belt and is confident enough to kind of been there, done that, through other camps."
Mike Zunino appears to have a relatively secure grasp on the top backstop job to open the season, but after seeing Travis d'Arnaud head to Atlanta in free agency this offseason, the Rays are looking for a reliable No. 2 option with some experience. Smith fits the bill on both counts, and he brings the added bonus of a solid bat that's helped lead to a career .272/.318/.381 line across 707 plate appearances. The 31-year-old has competition for the backup role in the form of incumbent Michael Perez and non-roster invitee Chris Herrmann, but Smith may have the inside track if he demonstrates sufficient improvement on the defensive side and masters the team's pitching staff this spring.
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