Aaron Gleeman

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Stephen Strasburg throws five innings in first rehab start


Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg made his first minor-league rehab start this afternoon at Double-A, throwing five innings of two-run ball as he comes back from a strained trapezius muscle.

Strasburg struck out six, walked none, and allowed four hits on a total of 71 pitches, so it sounds like things went pretty well.

Washington might not be in a huge rush to get Strasburg back from the disabled list considering how poorly he pitched before being shut down–posting a 6.55 ERA in 10 starts–but if they think one rehab start is enough he could rejoin the rotation as soon as next week.

Joe Girardi says Jacoby Ellsbury returning by June 30 “is probably going to be pretty difficult”

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Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury had hoped to return from a sprained right knee by the end of the month, but it sounds like he won’t be ready to come off the disabled list by then.

Manager Joe Girardi told Christina De Nicola of MLB.com that Ellsbury coming back by June 30 “is probably going to be pretty difficult” because he still isn’t running at 100 percent one month after suffering the injury and “it’s just not where we want it to be physically.”

Brett Gardner initially shifted from left field to center field following Ellsbury’s injury, but of late the Yankees have mostly been using rookie call-up Mason Williams in center field with Gardner back in a corner spot.

Ellsbury hit .324 with 14 steals and a .783 OPS in 37 games before the injury, leading the Yankees with a .412 on-base percentage.

Josh Johnson halts comeback from Tommy John surgery due to tingling in fingers

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Padres right-hander Josh Johnson has experienced yet another setback as he tries to return from yet another arm injury.

Johnson, who underwent Tommy John elbow surgery 14 months ago, cut short Monday’s simulated game after just three pitches due to tingling in his fingers.

Here’s what he told Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union Tribune:

It’s not fun to go through, that’s for sure. I woke up today and I’m not even that sore. That’s the thing with nerves–you’re not really going to get that sore, but it’s whenever you’re throwing and it’s not a real comfortable feeling. We’ll figure it out tomorrow and knock it out.

Johnson hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since 2013, when he had a 6.20 ERA in 16 starts for the Blue Jays, and has topped 100 innings in a season just three times since a great rookie showing in 2006.