Recalling late-season surge, Rays sign Arencibia

Recalling late-season surge, Rays sign Arencibia

DETROIT -- J.P. Arencibia is back in the Rays' organization, as the club signed the veteran catcher to a Minor League deal on Friday.

Initially, Arencibia will report to Triple-A Durham.

"J.P. did a lot of good things for us last year," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "In Triple-A, the guys loved the teammate he was. Then he got up here and performed well for us. I think it's just kind of added depth for us right now. Let's see if we can get him back to where he was last year, that month of the season for us."

Arencibia spent most of 2015 at Triple-A Durham before getting a late-season callup. Once with the Rays, Arencibia hit .310 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 24 games.

The Rays released Arencibia following the season, and he signed with the Phillies. Triple-A Lehigh Valley released Arencibia at his request. The catcher was hitting .167 with a home run and two RBIs in 12 games for the Iron Pigs.

Curt Casali has done the bulk of the catching for the Rays this season, with Hank Conger doing the rest. But Conger has had a disappointing season to date, with a .170 average and one RBI entering Friday. Arencibia's signing gives the organization added depth if it decides to make a move with Conger.

Luke Maile and Carlos Corporan have been performing the catching duties at Durham.

Worth noting

• Thursday was the Rays' eighth off-day of the season. Beginning Friday night, the team will play on 20 consecutive days until its next off-day on June 9.

"That's a long stretch, but we kind of complained about having too many off-days," Cash said. "So 20 straight is good when you're playing well. And we're playing well right now."

• Third-base coach Charlie Montoyo was inducted into the International League Hall of Fame on Thursday, accompanying the Rays to Detroit, then flying to Durham on Thursday before returning on Friday morning.

"It was really nice," Montoyo said of his honor and the treatment accorded him by the Bulls.

Congrats to Charlie Montoyo

Montoyo managed the Bulls from 2007-14, winning a franchise-record 663 games and two Governors' Cup titles.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.