Matt Stroup

Baseball Daily Dose

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Dose: Josh Johnson Delayed

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday was not an enjoyable day of news on the Josh Johnson front, as manager Edwin Rodriguez told the Palm Beach Post that the right-hander won't be back before July as he continues to deal with shoulder trouble. Later in the day on Tuesday, the Marlins moved Johnson to the 60-day DL, making it official that we won't be seeing the Florida ace back in the rotation until after the All-Star break at the earliest.

I don't think it's time for full-scale panic, but the continual delays in Johnson's recovery are definitely becoming cause for concern. As reported in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Johnson has yet to throw off a mound, and unless he begins a throwing program soon, he could easily get pushed back later into July. It's important to remember here that the All-Star break isn't a definite return date for Johnson – at this point, it's basically a best-case scenario.

  • On a slightly happier note for Florida, Hanley Ramirez (back) returned from the DL, but tempered that optimism but going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts to lower his average to 205. He did have four homers and eight steals despite a .219 average in May, so hopefully the time off helps him start hitting despite a rough first game back on Tuesday.

  • Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times believes that Dustin Ackley could be promoted to the big leagues as early as next Monday. With a .300 average, 905 OPS, nine homers, 34 RBI and seven steals at Triple-A, the 23-year-old has a chance to come up and make an immediate impact in mixed leagues.

  • With just six hits to go until his 3,000th hit, the Yankees delayed any ceremonies by placing Derek Jeter (calf) on the DL. Eduardo Nunez will take over in his absence, but is only a fringe consideration in AL-Only leagues. On another Yankees injury note, Joe Girardi told that Russell Martin (back) "feels better," and the catcher is still hoping to avoid a trip to the DL.

  • Joe Mauer told reporters that his legs are feeling better than they have all year, but Ron Gardenhire said that he doesn't expect the All-Star catcher to be activated Thursday. Assuming Gardenhire doesn't change his mind, it sounds like Mauer will likely be back on Friday. In other Twins injury news, Justin Morneau (wrist) was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to June 10. Given how badly Morneau has been hitting, some time off to get healthy could actually be a good thing.

  • Three prominent right-handers threw complete-game shutouts on Tuesday. The most notable belonged to Justin Verlander, who lost a bid at another no-hitter in the eighth inning and ended up with 12 strikeouts against the Indians. Also hurling shutouts were James Shields (who lowered his ERA and WHIP to 2.60 and 1.05 with his stellar outing against the Red Sox) and Jered Weaver, who allowed just five hits against the Mariners but threw 128 pitches in the outing.

  • Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that Johan Santana (shoulder) could be out until August after experiencing a minor setback earlier this month. At this point, I can understand cutting Santana loose in NL-Only leagues if you need the roster space.

  • On the same day that it became official that Adam LaRoche (shoulder) will need season-ending surgery, the Nationals got some positive news on the injury front, as third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (abdomen) was back in the lineup after being sidelined for more than two months. Zimmerman went 1-for-5 with a double and an RBI and should be activated in mixed leagues immediately.

  • Phil Hughes (dead arm) hit 91-93 mph with his fastball in extended spring training on Tuesday, setting him up for a minor league rehab start at Single-A on Sunday. This positive news opens the possibility that Hughes could be back before the end of this month, but early next month may be the safer estimate.

  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are expected to add Andrew Miller to their rotation next week. Miller has a 2.54 ERA at Triple-A, and the notoriously wild lefty has been especially sharp lately with a 22/1 K/BB ratio in his last three starts. However, Miller's overall 51/34 K/BB ratio in 60 1/3 innings underscores why he shouldn't yet be a consideration in mixed leagues.

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    Pitcher injury notes: Cole Hamels left in the eighth inning with back trouble, but expects to make his next start … Jake Peavy (groin) will make a minor league rehab start on Thursday in anticipation of potentially being activated next week … Rubby De La Rosa is expected to make his next scheduled start after leaving early on Sunday with forearm cramping … Matt Harrison (bruised triceps) is on course to make his next start Saturday … Hong-Chih Kuo (anxiety disorder) will make an appearance at Triple-A on Wednesday, which should help determine if he's getting close to a return … Joe Blanton (elbow) played catch Tuesday and is expected to rejoin the rotation sometime before August, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee … Brad Lidge is scheduled to play catch Wednesday as he targets a return around the All-Star break … Indians right-handed pitching prospect Jason Knapp, a key component of the Cliff Lee deal in 2009, underwent season-ending shoulder surgery.

    Position player injury notes: Rafael Furcal (oblique) has begun light workouts, but is still expected to be out until early July … Travis Hafner (oblique) began a rehab assignment on Tuesday as he targets a return this weekend … Brian Roberts (concussion) has been increasing his exercises, but still can't do any baseball activities until at least June 21 … Denard Span (concussion) won't be ready when eligible for activation on Thursday … Tsuyoshi Nishioka (fibula) reportedly could be back as soon as Wednesday … Freddie Freeman was scratched due to a mild right oblique strain, and it sounds like manager Fredi Gonzalez may hold him out an additional day or two … Justin Turner (thumb) will be out until at least Thursday, with Daniel Murphy shifting to third and Lucas Duda at first … Darwin Barney is headed for the DL due to a strained PCL, with Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker taking over second base in his absence … Josh Willingham (Achilles) returned to the lineup and went 1-for-5 … Ian Desmond (leg) returned and went 1-for-4 … Brandon Inge (mono) is hoping to return when eligible on Friday.

    Lineups/miscellaneous: The Blue Jays sent Kyle Drabek (5.70 ERA) to Triple-A … Derrek Lee returned from the bereavement list … Drew Stubbs is expected to get a routine day off Wednesday after picking up three hits and two steals on Tuesday … The Twins-White Sox game was postponed, pushing Tuesday's scheduled starters Gavin Floyd and Carl Pavano back to Wednesday.

    Editor's Note: For exclusive columns, rankings, projections and more, check out Rotoworld's MLB Season Pass.

    Notable pitching: Young Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio threw seven innings of two-run ball with one walk and nine K's against the Padres … Yovani Gallardo struck out 10 in a no-decision against the Cubs … Danny Duffy picked up his first big league win with six innings of two-run ball (four walks, two strikeouts) against the struggling A's … Speaking of struggling A's, Trevor Cahill walked seven and struck out none in another shaky start … Despite some knee soreness, Jeff Karstens lowered his ERA and WHIP to 2.66 and 1.08 with 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Astros … Bud Norris struck out nine while throwing seven innings of one-run ball against Pittsburgh … Alexi Ogando took his first loss of the year, giving up six runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Yankees … Josh Collmenter began the inevitable regression of his ERA and WHIP by giving up five runs on eight hits and three walks in five innings.

    Notable hitting: Dan Uggla homered for the second time in three games … Aramis Ramirez hit his third homer in the last week … Justin Ruggiano went 2-for-4 with a homer to raise his average to .372 in 43 at-bats … Jose Reyes went 3-for-5 with two steals to raise his league-leading average to .346 … Domonic Brown hit his third and fourth homers of the year, including an upper deck shot … Charlie Blackmon (2-for-4) picked up a steal for a fourth consecutive game.

  • Matt Stroup covers basketball, baseball and football for You can find him on Twitter here .
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