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Garza touts Navarro as run-stopper, mentor


MESA, Ariz. -- When asked what the Cubs needed on the roster, Matt Garza suggested a veteran backup catcher to help Welington Castillo. Garza didn't know the Cubs would get one of his favorites, Dioner Navarro.

"He provides a force back there," Garza said of his former Rays teammate. "He's known to stop a running game, and people don't run on him. ... Teams that rely on speed or the small game, a guy like Navarro behind the plate, he'll shut it down. That's a huge thing for a pitcher."

Castillo, who took over the starting job after Geovany Soto was dealt, can also tap into Navarro's experience.

"Having a guy like Navy as a backup will be a huge help, and not only for the rotation but the learning curve to get Castillo there quicker," Garza said.

"It's tough to go to a rookie, because a rookie is having a hard time feeling comfortable," Garza said. "Other pitchers could go, 'Hey, can you help Welly with this? Can you do this?' [Navarro] has been in the same predicament as Welly has. I've seen it -- Navy is a great guy to have around."

Garza said he wasn't going to request being matched up with Navarro in games.

"I don't care," he said. "I trust them both. Navy knows me well enough to know I don't care."

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