Nick Johnson sidelined by back injury


nick johnson swinging.jpgYankees DH Nick Johnson has missed two games in a row and is likely out until Tuesday due to lingering back stiffness, according to Chad Jennings of The Journal News.

Johnson isn’t concerned that it will be a long-term issue, for what it’s worth.  But he has been plagued by injuries for most of his career and any kind of ailment is rightfully going to be met with a speculative eye. 

The 31-year-old Johnson is batting just .135 in 52 at-bats this season, but he has drawn 18 walks in 16 games for a .375 on-base percentage.  And that’s exactly why he bats in the two-hole for the Yanks, ahead of perennial All-Stars like Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano.   New York is off to a 12-5 start this year, right behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East standings.

Shawn Tolleson becomes a free agent

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The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.

Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.

Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.

Indians strongly considering starting Carlos Santana in left field sans DH

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday,’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.

Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.