The Arizona Diamondbacks activated Miguel Montero and Eric Chavez from the 15-day disabled list on Monday afternoon and both are looking forward to getting back in the lineup.
They won’t have to wait long, as both of them are starting against the San Diego Padres in the series opener at Chase Field.
“They’re ready to go. We wish they didn’t have to go on the disabled list,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “The guys that filled in for them, (Matt) Davidson and Tuffy (Gosewisch) did a great job but left-handed bats, we want those guys in the lineup [Monday] and they’re ready to go.”
Montero was placed on the DL Aug. 1 with a lower back strain, retroactive to July 29 and veteran infielder Chavez has been out of commission with hip and knee issues since Aug. 9.
Gibson said both are welcomed additions to his club as the D-backs sit 9.5 games behind the National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers heading into Monday’s game.
“Miggy’s our frontline catcher but he had the back problem that put him on the disabled list,” Gibson said. “You know his bat has struggled this year and hopefully, who knows, he didn’t say anything about his back for how long but that’s the thing about these guys, some of them tell you and some of them don’t.”
Gibson is right, the 30-year-old catcher is hitting just .228 with nine home runs and 34 RBI, but his defensive abilities are also very valuable to this club.
As for Chavez, when the veteran has been in the lineup, he’s brought much-needed energy and pop to the offense.
“Chavez has less than 200 at-bats and he has 40 RBI,” Gibson stated. “I’m really gonna have to not beat him, can’t play him that much because we’ve seen in his age and all the injuries he’s had and all the wear and tear, just can’t push him that much.
“He’ll say he’s ready and good to go, but then it seems like it always bites us, so I’m going to have to be more pro-active with that.”
Montero caught back-to-back nine inning games in the Arizona League last Friday and Saturday and Chavez played his last game with the D-backs AZL on Aug. 24. Both seemed to pass these tests with flying colors, avoiding a stint with Triple-A Reno.
“I did everything and it felt really good,” Montero said. “Probably the first game catching, not that it felt bad, but I was thinking about it a little bit, knowing that I didn’t have any pain or nothing like that. I’ve kind of gotten more comfortable and now I don’t even think about it.”
Montero couldn’t remember the exact date or series that his back officially took a turn for the worse, but he did say it felt like he’d been off for a year.
“It’s definitely good to be back,” Montero said. “My back feels great, played a coupled games down there, feels good, no problems. (I’m) excited to be back with the team.”