Last offseason Nick Johnson signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Yankees, but after yet another injury wrecked season the 32-year-old disabled list regular has had to settle for a minor-league deal with the Indians, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
If healthy Johnson brings excellent on-base skills to the lineup, but that’s sort of like saying “if in shape Aaron Gleeman wears a size-32* jean.” No one has seen either in such a long time that it’s impossible to tell if they still exist.
Johnson is one of just 10 active players with a .400 on-base percentage in at least 3,000 career plate appearances, although “active” might be stretching things a bit. He’s played more than 100 games just four times in eight full seasons, including missing 138 games last season and 124 games in 2008 with wrist injuries and sitting out all of 2007 with a broken leg.
* OK, maybe a size-34. Whatever.
NEW YORK — With star outfielder Adam Jones nursing a tender hamstring, the Baltimore Orioles selected the contract of Julio Borbon from Double-A Bowie and optioned pitcher Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk.
Borbon was inserted in the starting lineup for Baltimore, batting ninth against hard-throwing New York Yankees rookie Chad Green.
“We had some other center field options,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Borbon is our best option at this point.”
Jones left Friday’s game in the second inning with a left hamstring strain. He departed the previous night’s game at Washington in the ninth inning with hamstring cramps and aggravated the injury hustling down the first base line on a soft grounder to third.
“I got a feeling that if he hadn’t had that first swinging bunt, it might not have been a problem,” Showalter indicated. “He’s not going to trot to first base as much as I talked to him about it before the game.”
Although Jones was unable to talk his way into Saturday’s lineup, Showalter speculated that he might be available to pinch-hit.
The 30-year old Borbon was 2 for 9 in five games with the Orioles earlier this season, but was designated for assignment on July 26. To create room for Borbon on the 40-man roster, pitcher Logan Ondrusek was designated for assignment on Friday.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.