Josh Johnson may not be able to help the fading Marlins anytime soon, but he’s at least moving in the right direction.
Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post reports that Johnson threw about 20 pitches in a bullpen session earlier today. It was his first bullpen session since being placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation on May 21.
“It felt good,” he said. “It felt like I was throwing about 10 mph but that’s kind of expected the first time around in a month. Getting back on the slope, I felt like I almost fell down on the first throw, it felt good to get back up there.”
The Marlins transferred Johnson to the 60-day disabled list earlier this week, which rules out his return until after the All-Star break. The soonest he could pitch for the Marlins again is July 16 against the Cubs.
Johnson went 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 56/20 K/BB ratio over his first nine starts prior to the injury.
Another fan was struck by a line drive foul ball during Sunday’s game between the Rockies and Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Mike DiGiovanna and Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times report. The ball was hit by Cody Bellinger in the first inning, going just beyond where the protective netting ends at the first-base dugout, striking a young woman in the head. Play was delayed for two minutes while the woman received medical attention. She initially stayed in her seat holding an ice pack to her head but was taken to a hospital for evaluation. According to someone in the Dodger Stadium first-aid office, the girl was alert and responding.
After the game, Bellinger said, “It was weird. It’s the first time I think I’ve hit a fan. I saw it literally hit her face. That was tough. I just tried to regroup. I’m sure it was tough for everyone.” He added, “I went over the next half-inning just to make sure she was all right. She said she was all right. She gave me a thumbs up. Obviously, it’s a scary situation.”
Both Bellinger and manager Dave Roberts expressed support for extending the protective netting at Dodger Stadium. [Update: Netting will be extended, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.]
Bellinger was involved in yet another incident involving a fan later in the game. According to Michael Duarte of NBC Los Angeles, a 14-year-old girl ran on the field in the ninth inning. Bellinger said the girl came up to him and said, “I want a hug.” As she hugged Bellinger, a security guard tackled her. Bellinger said to her, “You know you’re going to jail?” She replied, “Yeah, I know. It was worth it.”