Navarro handles full-time workload at catcher

Navarro handles full-time workload at catcher

HOUSTON -- The Blue Jays' five off-days this month will help not only the starting rotation, but they will also benefit catcher Dioner Navarro.

Navarro has already appeared in more games this season than he has since 2009. He spent the past four years as a backup, but he took over the starting duties in Toronto after signing a free agent contract during the offseason.

There were some legitimate question marks about Navarro's ability to play a full season without wearing down, but that hasn't been an issue.

"No, he looks pretty good," manager John Gibbons said on Saturday afternoon. "But we've managed to give him some rest. He'll get it tonight [against the Astros] and then Monday [off-day], he'll be fine."

Navarro has been more than fine of late. He has hit safely in 14 of his past 18 games since July 8 with a .352 average (25-for-71) and a .949 OPS. During those 18 games, he has five doubles, three homers and 13 RBIs.

The 30-year-old received the day off on Saturday because knuckleballer R.A. Dickey was on the mound. The fact that Dickey has a personal catcher in Josh Thole has been one way the Blue Jays make sure to get Navarro enough rest.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.