Jul 5, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT
Nick Johnson has started to work his way back from mid-May wrist surgery, but Brian Costello of the New York Post reports that the oft-injured designated hitter “is still a few weeks away from playing in a game” at extended spring training.
So far Johnson has simply begun hitting off a tee and given his lengthy injury history “a few weeks” could easily turn into a few months, as he’s played in more than 100 games just four times in nine full seasons as a major leaguer.
Signed to replace Johnny Damon in the Yankees’ lineup, Johnson hit just .167 in 24 games before going on the DL, although the low batting average did come with his usual outstanding plate discipline and he got on base at an impressive .388 clip thanks to twice as many walks (24) as hits (12).
Eight different players have started at DH while Johnson has been sidelined. Jorge Posada leads the way with 19 starts and Alex Rodriguez is second with seven, so the Yankees have taken advantage of Johnson’s injury by using the DH spot to rest their other banged-up veterans. However, if he suffers a setback it seems likely that they would be in the market for a big bat before July 31, so the next couple weeks are crucial for Johnson.
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