There's not much more Rays catcher Chris Gimenez could have done this spring. Gimenez, 30, competing with Jose Lobaton for the second catcher job, has hit .368, picking up where he left off at the end of last season. He has been strong defensively, and manager Joe Maddon said pitchers enjoy throwing to him. But though Gimenez has outshined Lobaton, who is hitting .257 and has admittedly struggled, there's a good chance he'll begin the season in Triple-A Durham. With Lobaton out of minor-league options, the Rays would risk losing a player at a position in which they have little organizational depth. Fair or not, Gimenez isn't letting it faze him. "Of course, I want to be on the team, and I feel like I've done enough to be on the team," Gimenez said. "But it's not my decision. It's completely out of your control. … Hopefully the decision goes in my favor, but if it doesn't, I'm not going to be (upset) about it." The fact that Gimenez has an upbeat attitude is no surprise to anyone who knows the gregarious Gilroy, Calif., native. But his perspective stems from truly appreciating how far he has come, having re-invented his offensive game, and rejuvenated his career, following a humbling trip back to Durham last season. "Honestly, it's kind of mind-blowing," Gimenez said. "It's amazing to think where, confidence-wise, and even playing-wise, where I've come." Gimenez had played parts of three seasons in the majors when the Rays signed him to a minor-league deal last spring. He started at Durham, and after Lobaton got hurt in mid April, Gimenez got his chance. But he hit just .191, prompting his demotion May 28 when Lobaton was ready. Gimenez was embarrassed, believing he was better than he showed.
Rays catcher Gimenez has rebuilt swing, career
Tampa Bay Times | Mar 25