Josh Johnson to begin minor league rehab assignment Monday

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Josh Johnson was off to an awful start before he landed on the disabled list last month with right triceps inflammation, but he’s ready to return to game action.

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports that Johnson is slated to begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday with High-A Dunedin. He will likely need two or three starts before rejoining the Blue Jays’ rotation, which places his return in the early part of June.

Johnson, who was acquired in the blockbuster deal with the Marlins over the winter, has a 6.86 ERA and 19/9 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings over four starts this season. The 29-year-old is set to become a free agent this winter.

Brandon Morrow injured his back taking off his pants

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The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.

We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”

Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.