So much for the optimism that Reed Johnson would be able to avoid the disabled list. Today, the Cubs sent Johnson to the DL with back spasms. Bummer.

Johnson has been battling back issues for the latter half of his career, and has missed the last few games because of that back. Already a replacement himself, the Cubs will now look to young(ish) guys like Tony Campana, Luis Montanez, and Brad Snyder – who was called up from AAA to take Johnson’s spot on the roster – to play back-up to the back-up. Snyder like virtually every hitter in the PCL this year, has been raking at AAA Iowa, hitting .342 with 7 homers and a .943 OPS. Snyder is 29.

Interesting that Tyler Colvin, who is now eligible to return from the minors, was not called up to replace Johnson. The Cubs, probably correctly, would prefer he keep starting in AAA Iowa in the hopes that he’ll rake, and grow his confidence. They also probably want him seeing regular at bats and putting up good numbers in case they would need the flexibility to move him in a deal later this year (highly unlikely).

Johnson hasn’t played since May 25, and would be eligible to come off the disabled list on June 9.