Josh Johnson may not be able to help the fading Marlins anytime soon, but he’s at least moving in the right direction.
Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post reports that Johnson threw about 20 pitches in a bullpen session earlier today. It was his first bullpen session since being placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation on May 21.
“It felt good,” he said. “It felt like I was throwing about 10 mph but that’s kind of expected the first time around in a month. Getting back on the slope, I felt like I almost fell down on the first throw, it felt good to get back up there.”
The Marlins transferred Johnson to the 60-day disabled list earlier this week, which rules out his return until after the All-Star break. The soonest he could pitch for the Marlins again is July 16 against the Cubs.
Johnson went 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 56/20 K/BB ratio over his first nine starts prior to the injury.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.