The Ottawa Titans’ roster continues to evolve and change over the course of the season, much like every other independent league baseball team in the world.
Just two weeks after the Titans shipped David Maberry to the Sussex County Miners, they have released fellow designated hitter Luke Navigato. Navigato’s presence made the Maberry trade far more interesting, as Maberry had been outperforming Navigato, but couldn’t find playing time. Now, both players have moved on, and the Titans will be looking elsewhere for their long-term designated hitter.
While with the Titans, Navigato’s bat couldn’t get heated up. Through 16 games, the second-year professional was hitting just .196 with an on-base percentage of .317, good for fourth-to-last on the team. Navigato had one home run for the Titans, coupled with five RBIs. It’s no question that he struggled with the bat when he had his chances.
While there are still hitters on the team who have numbers worse than Navigato, they have made their impact felt on defence. Both Clay Fisher and Rodrigo Orozco have a worse OBP compared to Navigato, but both field their positions exceptionally well. Navigato, on the other hand, has been primarily used as a designated hitter for Bobby Brown’s team this season.
With Clay Fisher suffering an injury with a recovery time that Brown described as “would only be a few weeks,” the Titans made a trade with the Winnipeg Goldeyes to acquire infielder Andrew Martinez. His start with the Titans has been hot, as he stands with five hits in his first four games, including a home run. Additionally, he provides the Titans with some positional flexibility, as he is currently handling short-stop duties while Fisher hangs on the injured list. This, along with the optimism surrounding a sooner-than-expected return for Fisher, has helped make Navigato the odd man out in the Ottawa infield.
It isn’t just what’s going on with the position players that could have impacted this move. The Titans currently have Kenny Williams stashed on the 14-day injured list. He was put there on June 7th, but it was done retroactively to June 5th, meaning that as of Sunday, he is eligible to be reactivated. To do so, the Titans would have to free up a roster spot. This release could mean that Williams is ready to return, but confirmation of that is still yet to come.
This certainly won’t be the last roster move the Titans make this season. After all, this is the Frontier League, and the roster you see on opening day is never the roster you will see when the playoffs start, or when they end for those fortunate enough to have a chance to compete.
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