Josh Johnson has been out since mid-May with a shoulder injury that was supposed to take just a couple weeks, but he received some good news from Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday and is now hoping to return “at some point in August,” according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
Andrews found no structural damage in Johnson’s shoulder, which means no surgery is needed, but even an early August return would mean sitting out nearly three months.
And that’s far from a sure thing, as Johnson has been shut down for the next 10-14 days, after which he’ll have to restart the rehab process. Or as Frisaro put it: “The period of inactivity isn’t set in stone. It could be longer. The Florida ace will throw when the discomfort has disappeared.”
He’s going to miss at least half the season with an injury that the Marlins are still describing as merely “an aggravated shoulder.” I was going to write that something “seems fishy” until I realized how hacky that sounds about a Marlins player. But … well, something seems fishy.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.