The Blue Jays announced on Wednesday that they’ve designated veteran left-hander J.P. Howell and catcher Mike Ohlman for assignment. The moves will clear roster space for right-hander Dominic Leone (activated from the bereavement list) and catcher Miguel Montero (activated from the 10-day disabled list).
Howell, 34, has been limited to 11 innings this year due to discomfort and tightness in his left shoulder. He returned earlier this month and has made three appearances since his activation, allowing a solo homer in an otherwise perfect 2 1/3 innings of work (with one strikeout). Overall, though, he’s posted a 7.36 ERA with six punchouts against seven walks in his short time with the Jays.
Despite logging a 2.49 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9 from 2013-16 with the Dodgers, Howell settled for a one-year deal worth $3MM this winter. He averaged just 85 mph on his fastball earlier this year but has added another mile or so to that total since being activated from the disabled list. Howell thrived with just an 86-87 mph average heater in L.A., so he’s had success with middling velocity in the past. He’s still owed about $754K of that $3MM guarantee through season’s end.
As for the 26-year-old Ohlman, the former Cardinals/Orioles farmhand made his MLB debut with Toronto in 2017, appearing in seven games and collecting three base knocks in 13 trips to the plate. He’s a career .245/.339/.436 hitter in 495 plate appearances at the Triple-A level.