J.P. Howell stumbled in the final season of his four-year tenure with the Dodgers, posting the worst marks in ERA (4.09), FIP (3.50), WHIP (1.40) and strikeout rate (20 percent) of his time in Los Angeles. He managed to eat innings and stay healthy for the year, but he was the Dodgers fourth lefty at best by season's end. A troubling sign for the 33-year-old is that he lost more than a tick on his sinker between 2015 and 2016, going from 87.6 to 85.9 mph on average -- his worst mark since his rookie year. Curiously, he allowed a reverse platoon split after spending most of his career as a lefty specialist, which is unfortunately more of a signal that he's less able to get lefties out than any improvement against right-handers. Now a member of the Blue Jays relief corps, he'll look to regain his old self and step back into more high-leverage innings in 2017.
Howell (shoulder) was activated from the DL on Tuesday, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports. Now that he's back in full health, Howell will return to the Blue Jays' bullpen. During his rehab assignment at High-A Dunedin, Howell pitched two shutout innings over two games and struck out five batters. In a corresponding move, Toronto optioned Leonel Campos to Triple-A Buffalo.
Howell (shoulder) allowed one hit and struck out two In one inning Thursday for High-A Dunedin, The Athletic's John Lott reports. Howell is eligible to return to the big-league club once he feels up to the task, and it seems that will happen sooner rather than later. However, Thursday was his first rehab game, and the left-hander will probably require one or two more outings before rejoining the Jays' bullpen. A reasonable expectation for Howell's return would be after this weekend series, when the team heads to Yankee Stadium for a three-game set beginning Monday.
Howell (shoulder) is expected to make a few rehab appearances with High-A Dunedin before returning to the big-league bullpen, Mike Wilner of the Blue Jays Radio Network reports. The left-hander has been on the disabled list since April 9 (retroactive to April 7, however), but it seems like he's been able to nurse his ailing shoulder back to full health in the meantime. Howell should be able to return to Toronto in the next week or so, and he'll likely resume a fairly prominent role in their bullpen once he's good to go.
Howell was placed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with a sore left shoulder, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports. The DL stint will be retroactive to Howell's last appearance April 7, when he failed to record an out while conceding two runs on two hits and two walks to take the loss in relief. It's likely the shoulder issue may have contributed to his poor outing, so the Blue Jays are hopeful that some extended time off might be all the lefty needs to right the ship. It's a surprising development nonetheless for the durable Howell, whose last DL stint came all the way back in 2011.
Howell was tagged with the loss Friday after failing to record an out while giving up two runs on a pair of hits and walking two Rays. The Jays had come back from a four-run deficit to take the lead just before Howell entered the game. He allowed a pair of doubles while sandwiching in his first two free passes of the season. Despite the implosion, the team acquired Howell during the offseason to play a major role out of its bullpen this year, so expect to see him back on the hill soon.
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