Marlins no longer expecting Josh Johnson back before July

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When the Marlins placed Josh Johnson on the disabled list in mid-May their hope was that he’d rejoin the rotation on June 1, but his timetable has repeatedly been pushed back since then and yesterday manager Edwin Rodriguez admitted that “the most optimistic hope” for Johnson’s return is now July.

Rodriguez told Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post that Johnson still needs to throw multiple bullpen sessions and then “have some rehab outings” before potentially being cleared to come off the DL, saying: “We’re talking July for sure.”

To essentially add an entire month (or more) to a pitcher’s return timetable without there being a significant setback involved seems odd, particularly since the initial injury that sent Johnson to the DL was termed merely shoulder inflammation. Johnson, who had a 1.64 ERA in nine starts before being shut down, hasn’t pitched since May 16.

Howie Kendrick to undergo an MRI after exiting game with a serious leg injury

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Update, 7:49 PM ET: The Nationals placed Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Double-A Potomac.

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Nationals left fielder Howie Kendrick was removed from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers after injuring his right leg. In the eighth inning, Kendrick tracked a Max Muncy sac fly to the wall, but landed strangely on his right leg and fell to the ground. Unable to put weight on it, he was forced to exit the field on a cart and was sent to undergo an MRI soon afterward, the results of which have yet to be revealed.

While the Nationals have not specified the nature or severity of Kendrick’s injury, Martinez revealed that it’s located in the “lower part” of the outfielder’s leg and appears to be quite severe. He’ll likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list in the next couple of days, though the recovery process could take even longer.

Prior to the incident, Kendrick was off to a hot start this season. Entering Saturday’s doubleheader, he carried a batting line of .302/.331/.477 with 18 extra-base hits and an .808 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday with a base hit in the seventh inning. Andrew Stevenson subbed in for Kendrick following the injury and has been tabbed to start in left field for the second game of the doubleheader at 8:05 PM ET.