Reed Johnson's Weak Back
Oh, about a week back.
When Reed Johnson collided with Ray's 1B Willie Aybar to end the Tuesday game in Tampa, he looked like a pinball bouncing off a bumper. Given that he missed most of last year because of a lumbar disc herniation, ultimately treated by surgery in April 07, I knew this could be trouble. Playing two series on astroturf (Toronto and Tampa consecutively), worried me just because of his history of back surgery. It's being reported that he was suffering from back spasms since the collision.
Supposedly he was available for pinch hitting duty for Thursday but he hasn't been used since the collision. A tidbit in this morning's Tribune says he received an anti-inflammatory injection in his back on Thursday. So unless that information is a bit off, he might have been given the injection in Tampa. The team didn't fly back to Chicago until the wee hours of Friday morning for the day game against the Sox. If he did get an epidural cortisone injection (ESI), it's similar to how Daryle Ward's herniated disc condition was treated although I don't believe Ward has ever had surgery on his disc, so it's not quite comparable. Ward's rehabbing in Arizona and is getting a minor league rehab assignment with the Iowa Cubs this week before probably coming off the DL for the Sox series next weekend. Hence, DWard's DL stint is going to amount to just short of 6 weeks.
If Reed Johnson does go on the DL Monday (an off day before the Baltimore series), expect Sean Marshall's call up to mean that Eric Patterson (or Matt Murton) gets to stay up more than their usual 3 day stint for a change. Somehow I don't understand why they didn't fill the roster spot sooner, unless Reed Johnson truely was capable of playing. We've been playing a man short since last Tuesday, more if you consider Edmonds missed a few games. If the scrappy one (of scrappy, scrappier and scrappiest fame) was capable of pinch hitting (explaining why he's not on the DL yet) but hasn't been used, any DL stint can still be retroactive to his last game on June 17th.