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Cubs activate Miguel Montero from disabled list

CHICAGO -- Cubs catcher Miguel Montero was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday while outfielder Ryan Kalish was designated for assignment as manager Joe Maddon has elected to carry three catchers.

Montero had been sidelined by lower back tightness. He went 0-for-3 and scored a run in his first game back as the Cubs beat the Pirates, 8-2.

"It gives us freedom to do things in the latter part of the game," Maddon said before the game. "(Catcher Tim) Federowicz has forced our hand because he's played so well and looked so good. It can change, but for right now it's the right thing to do."

Things could change as soon as Wednesday when injured outfielder Matt Szczur, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, is eligible to come off the disabled list. At that point Federowicz is likely to be sent down if he can clear waivers. Meanwhile, Kalish could still wind up at Triple-A Iowa if he doesn't end up with another team.

"(Szczur) is doing well," Maddon said. "(Strength coach Tim) Buss likes his progress. He seems to be going really well."

Montero spent time at Triple-A Iowa this week for a rehab assignment, playing in three games while going 2-for-10 at the plate.

"My back feels good," Montero said before the game. "The body feels nice and rested. ... I got to block a lot of balls. That was the turning point where I felt like I'm good to go now."