Josh Johnson unlikely to be ready for June 7 target date

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The Marlins had previously hoped that Josh Johnson would be able to return from the disabled list for a start on June 7 against the Braves, but manager Edwin Rodriguez told Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel earlier today that it’s doubtful he’ll be ready so soon.

“It’s very uncertain at this point,” Rodriguez said. “It’ll come down to how he feels. We have to wait and see until [Tuesday] and then he will decide when he feels ready to throw a bullpen…We’ve been shuffling some options. I would hate to use the bullpen. That would affect your whole strategy before and after the fact you use the bullpen day.”

Johnson went 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 56/20 K/BB ratio over his first nine starts before being placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation earlier this month.

The Marlins don’t have many alternatives for the start on June 7, as right-hander Jay Buente was recently claimed off waivers by the Rays. Rodriguez actually used five relievers Saturday against the Dodgers and while the strategy proved successful in a 6-1 victory, they obviously can’t afford to go that route on a regular basis.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”