Nick Johnson out with lower back stiffness
Nick Johnson won’t face Joel Pineiro today, as he isn’t in the starting lineup. Via Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger, we learn that Johnson is experiencing some lower back stiffness, which was likely brought on from his extra batting practice yesterday, hence the day off (this appears to be a minor issue, however, so I would not be too concerned). When you factor in Johnson’s recent offensive struggles, perhaps an off-day is just what he needs.
UPDATE (2:55) – Joe Girardi says that Johnson would be back in the lineup tomorrow, yet he did not divulge whether or not Johnson would bat second. It looks like OBP Jesus’ hold on that particular spot is beginning to loosen.