Nick Johnson sidelined by back injury

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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.

Dodgers designate Sergio Romo for assignment

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The Dodgers announced on Thursday that the club activated pitcher Grant Dayton from the 10-day disabled list and designated pitcher Sergio Romo for assignment.

Dayton, 29, went on the disabled list earlier this month with neck stiffness. He’ll resume with a 3.63 ERA and a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings.

Romo, 34, signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Dodgers in February. It didn’t really work out, as the right-hander posted a 6.12 ERA with a 31/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. His peripherals are still decent, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a team in need of a bullpen arm makes a deal with the Dodgers within the week.

Nate Karns underwent season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Royals pitcher Nate Karns underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome on Wednesday. He’s expected to be ready for spring training next year. Karns went on the disabled list in May with an elbow injury and didn’t make much progress.

The Royals acquired Karns from the Mariners in January in exchange for outfielder Jarrod Dyson. Over eight starts and one relief appearance, the 29-year-old right-hander compiled a 4.17 ERA and a 51/13 K/BB ratio in 45 1/3 innings.

Karns will enter his first of three years of arbitration eligibility after the season, so he’ll be under the Royals’ control through 2020.