The Blue Jays designated Howell for assignment Wednesday, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports. Toronto had earmarked Howell for a key role as a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen after signing him to a one-year, $3 million deal in free agency last winter, but it proved to be a swing and a miss from the front office. When he wasn't sidelined for extended time due to recurring shoulder woes, Howell was often getting lit up by the opposition, as he yielded nine runs on 13 hits and seven walks over 11 innings with the big club. If Howell ends up going unclaimed off waivers, he may just opt for free agency rather than reporting to Triple-A Buffalo in order to take more time off and allow his throwing shoulder to heal up.
Howell (shoulder) allowed a solo home run Friday against Houston in his first appearance since returning from a two-month DL stint. On his very first big-league pitch since June 3, Howell served up a homer to Tyler White. The lefty followed that up with 11 more pitches and three straight groundouts. Howell came into the game with the Jays down 15-7, and it's likely he'll continue serving in a low-leverage role that's useless for fantasy purposes.
Howell (shoulder) was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list Monday, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports. The left-hander missed nearly two months with this most recent shoulder issue. However, Howell's infrequent usage and 8.31 ERA on the season make him an unattractive fantasy asset, even in the deepest of AL-only leagues.
Howell (shoulder) allowed an earned run on three hits and a walk on 22 pitches Friday, recording two outs while taking the loss in a rehab outing with Triple-A Buffalo, Keegan Matheson of MLB.com reports. In 1.2 rehab innings, the lefty has allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits, one walk and a hit batsman. Needless to say, his rehab stint isn't going much better than Howell's poor showing in 13 MLB games this season (8.31 ERA, 2.19 WHIP, .324 BAA and a 5:7 K:BB). Regardless, the offseason acquisition will likely return to the Jays in short order, but he's certainly lost his grip on high-leverage work.
Howell (shoulder) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday, Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590 The Fan reports. This is good news for the southpaw, as little had been revealed about his recovery process prior to this development. He's expected to pitch a few more outings with the Bisons, likely meaning he'll return to the Blue Jays' relief corps later in July.