PHOENIX -- Back home following a strenuous 10-game East Coast road trip, the D-backs received a couple of reinforcements Monday, as Miguel Montero and Eric Chavez were activated from the 15-day disabled list and inserted into the starting lineup against the Padres.
For Montero, Monday marked the catcher's first action since July 28, when a lingering lower back strain forced the D-backs to put him on the shelf. In preparation for his return, the 30-year-old played six rehab games in the Arizona League (Rookie) and most recently caught nine innings on back-to-back days Friday and Saturday.
"It's definitely good to be back. It feels like I've missed a year," Montero said. "My back feels great. I played a couple games, and it feels good. I'm just excited to be back with the team."
As for Chavez, he was on the DL with left knee and right hip discomfort since Aug. 11 (retroactive to Aug. 10). The third baseman appeared in three rehab games in the Arizona League last week.
"Everything feels good, and hopefully I can come in and help the team," Chavez said. "I played a couple games while the team was on the road trip, and at that point, I knew I was ready."
Moving forward, Arizona will be cautious with Montero and Chavez to help prevent future injuries.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said Monday that he'll rotate backup catcher Wil Nieves in more frequently for Montero, who only missed nine games all year before hurting his back.
"Wil is going to get some catching time. Miggy won't play every day, like he was," Gibson said. "I have to be smart about that. We'll read his condition and react to it. We don't want to have him in trouble again, health-wise."
The same goes for Chavez, who has been extremely productive when healthy, but has been on the DL twice this season. In 62 games entering Monday, the 35-year-old is batting .299 with nine homers and 40 RBIs.
"I can't play him that much," Gibson said. "With his age, all the injuries and the wear and tear, you just can't play him that much. He'll say he's ready and good to go, but it seems like it always bites us. I'm going to have to be more proactive with that."