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.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.