“We needed to make a change,” said Samurai owner/GM Sarah Buehler. “This was an easy move to make us better at a position of need. We’re always open to opportunities to get better.”
The 28-year-old Davidson, who was on Knoxville’s farm team, has a reputation for excellent fielding. He got his unusual nickname from a high-school coach who misspoke while praising his “cat-like” reflexes at the hot corner. “I’m glad for a chance to play,” said Davidson. “I know [Salt Lake is] struggling right now, but I want to help them improve.”
Davidson will step in to replace Luis Poncilar, who has struggled mightily in the field and at the plate, batting .077 on the year and having made several costly errors. In a related move, the Samurai demoted Poncilar and recalled utility man Edmund Rains.
The 38-year-old Gomez began the season as Salt Lake’s starting right fielder, but was benched in favor of Romeo Martinez after posting a .125 average. The left-handed Gomez is expected to platoon with Alex Jaramillo at DH and to serve as a top pinch-hitter. “Victor is a skilled veteran who we think will be a key contributor for us,” said Smokies owner/GM Jeremiah Mills.
To make room for Gomez on the active roster, Knoxville sent SS Lorenzo Arias down to the minors. This is the second deal of the season for the Smokies, who swapped reliever Butch Turnbull for 3B Ronnie Aceuedo during spring training.