It’s been pretty clear for a long time that Josh Johnson wouldn’t throw another meaningful pitch this season, but it took until Thursday for the Marlins to make it official.
“You rewind this whole thing we thought it was gonna be a two-week thing and that was four months ago,” Marlins baseball operations president Larry Beinfest said.
Indeed, Johnson has been on the DL since May 21 with right shoulder inflammation. He’s gone without a major setback since, but he also hasn’t progressed nearly as the Marlins hoped. He’s just getting back on a mound now, and while the Marlins might have been tempted to try to aim for a late-September return as a reliever if they were still in the race, there’s certainly no point to trying it now.
Johnson, in the second year of a four-year, $39 million contract, will make $13.75 million each of the next two seasons. He’ll probably be worth the money if healthy, but he’s had just one season as a major leaguer in which he’s made 30 starts. He was 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA in nine starts before getting hurt this year.
Pirates first baseman John Jaso hit for the cycle on Wednesday night against the Cubs, becoming the first Pirate to do so since Daryl Ward against the Cardinals on May 26, 2004. Jaso’s cycle is the first to be hit at PNC Park. It’s also the third cycle of the 2016 season, as Jaso joins Freddie Freeman and Rajai Davis.
Jaso singled in the second inning for his first hit. He smashed a three-run homer in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. He hit an RBI double in the fifth to push the Cubs’ lead to 5-1. Then, in the seventh, Jaso hit an RBI triple to make it an 8-4 game.
Coming into Wednesday night, Jaso was hitting an adequate .259/.342/.384 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 416 plate appearances. He’s been limited mostly to right-handed pitching as the Pirates have used David Freese and Josh Bell at the position as well.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 30 games with a single to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning of Wednesday night’s win against the Phillies. Prior to that at-bat, he had grounded out, been hit by a pitch, and walked.
Freeman entered Wednesday night batting .382/.477/.673 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 24 runs scored over his past 29 games. Though his numbers are lacking compared to National League MVP Award favorite Kris Bryant, Freeman will get some top-five votes. On the season, he entered Wednesday hitting .307/.404/.576 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, and 99 runs scored in 673 plate appearances.
Freeman’s 30-game hitting streak is the longest such streak in the majors this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info. He has also reached base safely in 46 consecutive games.