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.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.