Johnson scratched with a stiff lower backBy
Update (2:20pm): Bryan Hoch says NJ caught a spike during BP and felt something, but he definitely would have played if it was a regular season game. No point in pushing it March 4th.
1:30pm: Via Ben Shpigel, Nick Johnson was scratched from today’s game against the Phillies with a stiff lower back. Jamie Hoffmann took his place at DH and in the two-hole. Most of the time this wouldn’t be news, but NJ’s injury history and previous back trouble (he spent 52 days on the disabled list with a lower back strain back in 2004) makes it worth a mention. More than likely, this is no big deal, and they’re just playing it safe.
Remember, Jorge Posada‘s shoulder was barking this time last spring (when he was coming off surgery), and he was fine in the end.