Will the Yankees wait for Nick Johnson to get healthy?

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Nick Johnson has started to work his way back from mid-May wrist surgery, but Brian Costello of the New York Post reports that the oft-injured designated hitter “is still a few weeks away from playing in a game” at extended spring training.
So far Johnson has simply begun hitting off a tee and given his lengthy injury history “a few weeks” could easily turn into a few months, as he’s played in more than 100 games just four times in nine full seasons as a major leaguer.
Signed to replace Johnny Damon in the Yankees’ lineup, Johnson hit just .167 in 24 games before going on the DL, although the low batting average did come with his usual outstanding plate discipline and he got on base at an impressive .388 clip thanks to twice as many walks (24) as hits (12).
Eight different players have started at DH while Johnson has been sidelined. Jorge Posada leads the way with 19 starts and Alex Rodriguez is second with seven, so the Yankees have taken advantage of Johnson’s injury by using the DH spot to rest their other banged-up veterans. However, if he suffers a setback it seems likely that they would be in the market for a big bat before July 31, so the next couple weeks are crucial for Johnson.

Odubel Herrera went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts today

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Did you have a bad day? It’s OK. We all do sometimes. It’s just part of life. Even ballplayers have bad days. Even the good ones.

Odubel Herrera is a good one. He’s only 25, but he’s already got two seasons of above average hitting under his belt. Dude gets on base. He could be a regular for tons of teams, so there’s no shame at all in him having a bad day. And boy howdy did he have a bad day today. He went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts in the Phillies extra innings win against the Rockies.

“I feel that I am making good swings but I’m just missing the pitches,” Herrera said.

Well, that is how strikeouts work.

Four strikeouts in a game is known as a Golden Sombrero. Players don’t strike out five times in a game very often so they don’t have an agreed upon name, but I’ve seen it referred to as the “platinum sombrero,” which seems pretty solid for such a feat. Six is a titanium sombrero or a double platinum sombrero, though there are references to it as a “Horn,” for Sam Horn, who deserves something to be named in his honor. Horn is like Moe Greene — a great man, a man of vision and guts — yet there isn’t even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him!

But I digress.

The last time a Phillies player did it was when Pat Burrell K’d five times in September 2008. The Phillies won the World Series that year, of course, so maybe this is an omen. [looks at standings] Or maybe not.

Anyway, get a good night’s sleep tonight, Odubel. Shake it off. Tomorrow is another day.

Rachel Robinson to receive O’Neil Award from the Hall of Fame

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NEW YORK (AP) Rachel Robinson will receive the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award from baseball’s Hall of Fame on July 29, the day before this year’s induction ceremony.

She’s the wife of late Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke the major league color barrier in 1947. Rachel Robinson created the Jackie Robinson Foundation in 1973, a year after he husband’s death. Rachel Robinson, who turns 95 in July 19, headed the foundation’s board until 1996.

The O’Neil award was established in 2007 to honor individuals who broaden the game’s appeal and whose character is comparable to that of O’Neil. He played in the Negro Leagues, was a scout for major league baseball teams and helped establish the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

The award was given to O’Neil in 2008, Roland Hemond in 2011 and Joe Garagiola in 2014.