TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays activated catcher Miguel Montero from the disabled list and took right-handed relief pitcher Dominic Leone off the bereavement list on Wednesday.
Montero had been out since Aug. 4 with right knee inflammation.
His return provides Toronto with a veteran catcher to split duties with 26-year-old Raffy Lopez while regular starter Russell Martin (oblique) remains on the disabled list.
Catcher Mike Ohlman and left-handed reliever JP Howell were designated for assignment to make room on the roster for both Montero and Leone.
Toronto signed Howell as a free agent in the off-season but the 34-year-old struggled through injuries for most of the year. He allowed nine runs and walked seven over just 11 innings of work.
"Really what it came down to is we needed a couple guys who could throw multiple innings," Gibbons said of the decision to designate Howell. "He really wasn't doing that and at this stage he couldn't do that too often, I don't think.
"He's an old pro, it was tough. He's been around the game a while, one of the best guys I've been around so it was hard. He took it like a champ but that was hard."
Gibbons said breaking the news to Ohlman, a 26-year-old rookie who appeared in seven games with the Blue Jays this season, was also tough.
"He's been scratching and clawing to get here, been up with us a couple times and he's really appreciative of the opportunity," Gibbons said. "You're basically taking away a big league job, you know?"
Montero batted .286 with four home runs through 44 games with the Chicago Cubs this season but has hit just .083 through 13 games since joining Toronto in July.
Leone is 2-0 with a 2.55 earned-run average and 57 strikeouts through 53 innings with the Blue Jays this year.
The Canadian Press