6/24 Johnson to DL
Reed Johnson was expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, and Ryan Freel called up from Triple-A Iowa. Johnson has been sidelined with back problems, and has not played since Saturday.
“We can’t continue to play short,” Lou Piniella said.
Johnson’s injury comes at an inopportune time. He had four home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 18 games, and he provides some energy.
“Every time it seems like we have a little something going here, we suffer a little setback — [Angel] Guzman in the bullpen and now Reed Johnson,” Piniella said. “We’ve got to fight through it, what can I say? We need to get [Aramis] Ramirez back in the lineup and then we can set up the lineup the way we want and I think we’ll get a lot more consistent offensively.”
Ramirez, out since May 9 with a dislocated left shoulder, had a good workout Wednesday at Comerica Park. He’ll start taking batting practice Friday in Chicago. Once Ramirez passes that test, he’ll be ready for a Minor League rehab assignment.
“Depending on how he feels, the next thing will be to go out and get some at-bats,” Piniella said.
— Carrie Muskat