Nick Johnson making progress
Some of the agility drills that gave Nick Johnson trouble a few days ago are coming more easily now.
That’s an encouraging sign as the Marlins remain hopeful their veteran first baseman can return in a week or so.
Johnson went on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain on Tuesday night, retroactive to Aug. 17. He is eligible to be reinstated on Tuesday, Sept. 1, against the Braves at Land Shark Stadium.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez is skeptical that Johnson will be ready by then. Most likely, the Marlins will have Johnson play in a few rehab games. The Minor League season ends on Sept. 7, so it would have to be sometime late next week before he is in games.
“It’s always a nice test to get the adrenaline pumping,” Gonzalez said of players seeing rehab action.
Johnson on Friday showed improvement doing jumping and jogging drills.
“It’s getting better,” Gonzalez said.
With Johnson out, the Marlins have been using Ross Gload extensively at first base. On Friday night against the Padres, Wes Helms started at first.
– Joe Frisaro