TORONTO — Catcher Kevan Smith was supposed to make his major league debut with the White Sox against the Toronto Blue Jays Monday, but the 27-year-old catcher was a late scratch due to back spasms.
Smith looked none too comfortable after the game, with his back wrapped, and manager Robin Ventura indicated the Sox will have to call up another catcher Tuesday.
“You can’t trust it. You can’t go through games with one guy, so I’m sure something will happen tomorrow,” Ventura said.
Dioner Navarro started and caught 31-year-old right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who was called up from AAA Charlotte to start. Smith caught both of Gonzalez’s starts for the Knights.
Catcher Alex Avila was placed on the disabled list Sunday with a strained right hamstring suffered Sunday. Avila said Monday he doesn’t expect to be on the DL longer than 15 days.
Jerry Sands was the Sox’ emergency catcher tonight. He has not caught in a major league game. Ventura has said that utility infielder Tyler Saladino can catch in a pinch, too.
Smith was hitting .345 with two home runs, six RBI and a .980 OPS over eight games with Charlotte. He has thrown out five of 11 attempted basestealers. He had received a barrage of texts from family and friends, and he was eager and excited to make his debut.
“It’s overwhelming, the people that followed your career and supported you the whole way,’’ he said before the game. “It’s very humbling and very overwhelming I guess. It’s awesome and it’s going to be a great experience.’’
That was before the Sox took the field to stretch, which is when Smith apparently felt something in his back, a Sox spokesman said.
Smith’s sister, brother in law, niece, uncle and cousins were in attendance. His father, “my biggest fan,” was unable to attend because he doesn’t have a passport.