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Marlins activate Mathis, designate J. Solano

DENVER -- The Marlins activated catcher Jeff Mathis from the 15-day disabled list on Friday and designated catcher Jhonatan Solano for assignment.

Mathis hasn't played since April 12, when he fractured his hand on a foul tip in just his third game of the season. Miami placed him on the DL the next day, and Mathis made nine rehab appearances -- four with Triple-A New Orleans and five with Double-A Jacksonville -- before being activated.

Mathis, who went 5-for-27 with a double and two RBIs in those nine games, said he had hoped to return sooner, but some early struggles in his rehab stint increased his stay.

"I had, not necessarily some setbacks at the beginning, but my arm just wasn't feeling the way I wanted it to feel," Mathis said on Friday. So [the rehab assignment] took me a little longer than I wanted it to, but I'm feeling good to be back."

Marlins manager Dan Jennings said rookie J.T. Realmuto will remain Miami's starting catcher -- a role he's essentially owned all season since Mathis went down so early and Jarrod Saltalamacchia was designated for assignment. But Jennings added that Mathis will see occasional playing time and could potentially be in Saturday's starting lineup.

"[Mathis] will come in at the backup-catching role, and we'll mix and match at times to get him in [the starting lineup]," Jennings said. "Certainly, his presence back here inside the clubhouse [is huge]. Matty is such a huge carryover from last year and the mindset that was created, and his catch-and-throw abilities speak for itself."

Solano played in just seven games this season, making six starts. He had one hit in 20 at-bats, but the Marlins expect Solano will clear waivers and hope to have him join New Orleans in a few days.

"Solano did a great job," Jennings said, "and we were fortunate to have a guy like that come up after Matty got hurt."

Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for
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