Navarro returns from DL, trying time

Navarro returns from DL, trying time

WASHINGTON -- The Blue Jays activated catcher Dioner Navarro from the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday night's Game 2 of a doubleheader and optioned Josh Thole to Triple-A Buffalo.

Toronto also promoted right-hander Scott Copeland from the Minor Leagues for Tuesday night's game. Teams are permitted to temporarily add a 26th man to the roster when participating in a doubleheader.

Navarro had been out since April 21 with a small tear in his left hamstring, and he recently completed a five-game rehab assignment with Buffalo prior to re-joining the big league club.

"I was never concerned about my swing, about my timing, I was making sure my leg was 100 percent," said Navarro, who will back up Russell Martin and receive some occasional starts in the DH spot.

"I use my legs a lot when I bat, so I just wanted to be 100 percent. I knew with my swing, and my timing, it was just a matter of time. I went down to extended spring, I took a whole lot of at-bats. In Triple-A, I played five games and knew it was time."

Navarro's injury took a little bit longer to heal than originally expected. At first, Navarro expected to miss two to three weeks, but he suffered a minor setback along the way which led to a prolonged absence.

The native of Venezuela was disappointed he had to miss so much time, but the one positive was that he was able to be with his wife when she found out her father had passed away. The couple had been at the hospital with one of their children when she got the devastating news over the phone.

Navarro then traveled to Puerto Rico to attend the wake and funeral. Navarro has been with his wife, Sherley, since the age of 16, and he said it was her family that basically took him in when he first moved to the United States to pursue a career in baseball.

It was an extremely hard time for everyone involved, but Navarro was grateful that he was able to be around to support the family and pay his respects to Carlos Montez, who was like a second father.

"I've been with my wife for 15 years -- her dad was like my dad," Navarro said of Montez, who died at age 72 because of a massive heart attack. "I was by myself in the States with nobody, and he kind of took me under his wing. He was a little tiny guy with a big, big attitude, and the journey we had was magnificent. [My wife] was really heartbroken."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.