Josh Johnson now hoping to return “at some point in August”

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Josh Johnson has been out since mid-May with a shoulder injury that was supposed to take just a couple weeks, but he received some good news from Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday and is now hoping to return “at some point in August,” according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.

Andrews found no structural damage in Johnson’s shoulder, which means no surgery is needed, but even an early August return would mean sitting out nearly three months.

And that’s far from a sure thing, as Johnson has been shut down for the next 10-14 days, after which he’ll have to restart the rehab process. Or as Frisaro put it: “The period of inactivity isn’t set in stone. It could be longer. The Florida ace will throw when the discomfort has disappeared.”

He’s going to miss at least half the season with an injury that the Marlins are still describing as merely “an aggravated shoulder.” I was going to write that something “seems fishy” until I realized how hacky that sounds about a Marlins player. But … well, something seems fishy.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.