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Cubs catcher Montero activated from disabled list

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CHICAGO (AP) Miguel Montero was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, putting three catchers on the roster for the Chicago Cubs.

Montero had been sidelined by lower back tightness. He went 2 for 10 with two RBIs over three games in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa.

“I feel good, surprisingly,” Montero said. “First day coming in, I was a little skeptical a little bit about blocking and all this, but I got to block a lot of balls. So all the issues that I have going in my mind, not in my body because I was feeling good, obviously felt pretty good blocking and that was kind of a turning point.”

Montero, 32, was in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh, batting eighth.

To make room on the roster, outfielder Ryan Kalish was designated for assignment. Kalish was promoted from Iowa on May 3 and batted .286 (2 for 7) in seven games with the Cubs.

The move with Kalish leaves catcher Tim Federowicz in place after he was promoted when Montero went on the DL. The major league-leading Cubs also have veteran catcher David Ross, who hit a three-run homer in Friday’s 9-4 victory over the Pirates.

“It gives us more freedom to do things in the latter part of the game,” manager Joe Maddon said, “where you know if you’ve seen us pull catchers early for different maneuvers and then when you’re going with just one guy, it gets to extra innings it’s never comfortable. It’s never comfortable.”

Maddon also said Federowicz’s solid play was a factor in how they handled the situation.

The roster makeup could change again when outfielder Matt Szczur comes off the disabled list. He is out with a mild right hamstring strain and is eligible to return on Wednesday.

“He is doing really well,” Maddon said. “Bussy (strength and conditioning coordinator Tim Buss) likes his progress. He’s moving well.”

Justin Turner rips Rob Manfred like no player has ripped him yet

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Every day brings a new player showing up to camp, facing the media and offering their two cents about the Astros, the sign-stealing scandal and Major League Baseball’s handling of it.

Today Justin Turner of the Dodgers gave more than his two cents. He gave a few bucks worth.

Speaking to the Dodgers media contingent, Turner reacted most strongly to Commissioner Rob Manfred’s comments yesterday, in which he talked about why he chose not to force the Astros to vacate their 2017 World Series title, calling the World Series trophy, “a piece of metal.” From the L.A. Times:

“I don’t know if the commissioner has ever won anything in his life. Maybe he hasn’t. But the reason every guy’s in this room, the reason every guy is working out all offseason, and showing up to camp early and putting in all the time and effort is specifically for that trophy, which, by the way, is called the commissioner’s trophy.

“So for him to devalue it the way he did yesterday just tells me how out of touch he is with the players in this game. At this point the only thing devaluing that trophy is that it says ‘commissioner’ on it.”

Turner is also upset that Astros players were not disciplined, and basically implied that, to the Astros, manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow losing their jobs over this was worth it:

“Now anyone who goes forward and cheats to win a World Series, they can live with themselves knowing that, ‘Oh, it’s OK. … We’ll cheat in the World Series and bring the title back to L.A. Screw Dave Roberts and screw Andrew [Friedman]. It’s just those guys losing their jobs. I still get to be called a champion the rest of my life.’ So the precedent was set by him yesterday in this case.”

Turner thinks the Astros should give their rings back and give back the trophy. Though, really, I’m not sure what the league would do with it. To them it’s just a piece of metal, right?