Chris Johnson scratched Sunday with turf toe

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Braves third baseman Chris Johnson tripped over Allen Craig’s leg at the first base bag in Saturday night’s 6-2 loss to the Cardinals and has now been scratched from Atlanta’s starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale at Busch Stadium with what is being called turf toe. This according to beat writer David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Johnson’s .331 batting average ranks second in the National League behind only Yadier Molina (.336) and the 28-year-old has also provided good power production with his 26 doubles, 10 home runs and 57 RBI in 112 games. Paul Janish will get the start at the hot corner in his place.

The Braves will be trying to avoid a four-game sweep on Sunday afternoon in St. Louis.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.