Tag:Josh Johnson
Posted on: September 7, 2010 7:07 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2010 11:26 pm

Josh Johnson suffering from back pain

Josh Johnson The Marlins suddenly find themselves with dangerously-thin depth in the rotation.

The club has already lost Ricky Nolasco to a torn meniscus in his right knee and have suspensions for Chris Volstad and Alex Sanabia looming for their roles in the Marlins-Nationals bench-clearing fight .

Now, Josh Johnson could see his season end thanks to back/side pain and tightness, reports the Miami Herald .

The problem has plagued Johnson for weeks, which explains, in part, his 4.25 ERA in his last seven starts after kicking off the year with a 10-3 record and sterling 1.73 mark. Johnson is "50-50" to make his start Friday at Washington as it is unknown at the moment just how problematic Johnson's injuries are.

The Herald says it's not out of the realm of possibility the 26-year-old is shut down for the remainder of the year, missing five remaining starts but there is nothing concrete in that area yet. Johnson could elect to pitch through the pain for his final starts, and may even see his Friday start simply pushed back a few days.

The righty is already taking precautions, skipping his side bullpen session Tuesday and not participating in stretching exercises, instead receiving treatment for his back pain.

The Marlins should proceed very cautiously with the ace, as the team is nowhere near postseason contention and is in the first year of a four-year, $39 million deal. It's more important for Johnson to be healthy the next three years than it is to make the next five starts in a now-irrelevant season.

UPDATE : Johnson has been officially scratched from Friday's start and is headed to Florida for an evaluation of his back and throwing shoulder, the Herald reports . Johnson may indeed miss the rest of the season, but that will be determined after being evaluated. Alex Sanabia will draw the start in his place.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 2, 2010 3:30 pm

Looking at the NL Cy Young race

Cy Young Today we continue our look at the leaders for baseball's big awards as we head into the last month of the season.

In what has been dubbed "The Year of the Pitcher," the Cy Young Awards are going to be tough calls, and in the National League the top six in ERA are separated by just 0.09 points from Tim Hudson (2.24) to Jaime Garcia (2.33).

In addition to the traditional stats, Evan loves him some xFIP. The basic idea of xFIP is -- besides being fun to say aloud -- Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) that's normalizes home run rants for ballparks. Basically, it's all about strikeouts and walks. I'm not as big of a fan of it, but since it was included with the American League folks , I'll list it here for consistency's sake.

(Why don't I like it as much? Because it's too dependent on strikeouts, devaluing pitchers who get other kinds of outs. Funny, I don't care how you get outs, just so you get 'em. I understand if you're looking for a free agent to sign, it's a better predictor of where to spend your money and future performance, but when you're talking about evaluating a performance that has already happened, I don't care about style points.)

While the W-L stat is, in most opinions rightfully losing its place among the most important stats, another maligned statistic is the save. Heath Bell and Billy Wagner are having good seasons as closers, but it takes a special season for a reliever to have a chance. And this is a special season -- for starters. Nice seasons for Bell and Wagner, but they won't be in the discussion this year.

So here's those in the discussion (in alphabetical order):

Chris Carpenter Chris Carpenter
St. Louis Cardinals
14-5, 197 1/3 IP , 147 K, 54 BB, 2.92 ERA, 3.85 xFIP

Last year's runner-up is having another good season. His ERA is up and he already has one more loss than he did last season, but he's not exactly been a slouch. Last year Carpenter and Adam Wainwright split the vote, that shouldn't happen this year.

Jaime Garcia Jaime Garcia
St. Louis Cardinals
12-6, 146 2/3 IP, 118 K, 58 BB, 2.33 ERA, 3.75 xFIP

That said, Garcia is the third Cardinal ace this year. The left-hander should be front-runner for the Rookie of the Year Award, but his 2.33 ERA puts him in consideration for the Cy Young, too.

Roy Hallady Roy Halladay
Philadelphia Phillies
16-10, 214 IP, 190 K, 26 BB, 2.27 ERA, 2.91 xFIP

Wait, the American League's best pitcher goes to the National League and dominates? Yeah, not that much of a shocker there. He hasn't exactly turned into the 30-game winner that some predicted, but he's on pace to become just the third pitcher in the live-ball era to lead his league in strikeouts, while having the fewest walks per nine innings in that same season. The last to do so was Robin Roberts in 1954.

Tim Hudson Tim Hudson
Atlanta Braves
15-5, 184 2/3 IP, 109 K, 58 BB, 2.24 ERA, 3.86 xFIP

Like Garcia, Hudson underwent Tommy John surgery in 2008 and has certainly rewarded the Braves for the the three-year, $28 million extension given to him this past offseason.

Ubaldo Jimenez Ubaldo Jimenez
Colorado Rockies
17-6, 184 1/3 IP, 170 K, 72 BB, 2.69 ERA, 3.74 xFIP

It looked like Jimenez would run away with the award earlier this season, but he's had a rough June and July (5.16 ERA). It seems crazy talk to think of a pitcher winning a Cy Young pitching half his games in Coors Field. At Coors, he's 8-1 with a 3.16 ERA. On the road, his win total has been hampered by his team's inability to hit on the road. He's 9-5 with a 2.30 ERA not he road, where opponents are hitting just .180/.279/.264.

Josh Johnson Josh Johnson
Florida Marlins
11-5, 177 2/3 IP, 174 K, 45 BB, 2.28 ERA, 3.23 xFIP

Johnson's allowed just seven home runs this season and is striking out nearly four batters for every batter faced. Take out his bad outing in Cincinnati last month and his ERA would be at 2.02.

Mat Latos Mat Latos
San Diego Padres
13-5, 155 2/3 IP, 160 K, 43 BB, 2.25 ERA, 3.36 xFIP

The Padres are in first place because of their pitching -- and Latos has been their best pitcher. While he certainly benefits from pitching at Petco Park, batters are hitting just .188/.247/.310 against him on the road. His ERA is 2.08 at home and 2.36 on the road. After starting 1-3 with a 5.47 ERA in his first five starts of the season, Latos has gone 12-2 with a  1.60 ERA in his last 20.

Adam Wainwright Adam Wainwright
St. Louis Cardinals
17-9, 195 1/3 IP, 178 K, 50 BB, 2.30 ERA, 3.21 xFIP

Last season Wainwright had the most first-place votes for the Cy Young, but finished third in voting. He led the NL in wins last season with 19 and is doing the same this season with 17. Not only that, his ERA is a third-of-a-run lower than it was a year ago. A top-five finish guarantees the last two years of his contract (through 2013) and gives him not only a bonus for the award, but an extra million dollars in 2012.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 13, 2010 8:03 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2010 8:55 pm

Josh Johnson looks sleepy

Josh Johnson
Marlins ace Josh Johnson gave up three runs in the first inning Friday, the first four Reds batters getting base hits. He gave up five hits and walked two in the first two innings. Johnson had only given up six first-inning runs all season.

Turns out it might have been avoidable if the Marlins had been thinking ahead. The team traveled from Washington after a night game and didn't arrive at their hotel in Cincinnati until 4:30 a.m. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald notes via Twitter that the Marlins did not send the National League's ERA leader ahead to assure he'd be well-rested, a common practice.

Looks like that might have been a good idea.

UPDATE: Johnson lasted just 3 2/3 innings, his shortest outing since last July. He gave up six earned runs on 10 hits.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 11, 2010 6:26 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 6:41 pm

Cardinals take control of NL Central

So what did we learn from the Brandon Phillips comments about the Cardinals? Just because you're not wrong doesn't make you right.

Phillips fired up the Cardinals by calling them "little bitches." After sweeping the Reds at Great American Ball Park to retake the National League Central lead, the Cardinals are the division's big bitches.

The Cardinals not only swept the Reds -- they outscored them 21-8 and outhit them 35-18. It just wasn't close. It also showed the Cardinals will be a tough out in a short series with Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Jaime Garcia lined up -- just as the Reds, who managed just nine hits against those three in the series. It could be the story of the team's series, pre-little bitches and post-little bitches with Aug. 9, 2010 being the turning point of the season.

More than anything, it seems Phillips, who was 2 for 14 in the series, awoke a Cardinals team that had played pretty flat for much of the season, giving them a common enemy.

Sure, Tony La Russa proved Phillips' point about whining by complaining to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, but the Reds' inability to step up to the plate exposed them as an also-ran in this race.

"Friday is really going to tell the tale," Reds starter Bronson Arroyo told reporters including the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay on Wednesday. "We haven't had a whole lot of big slides this year, where we lose four, five, six in a  row. Losing three to these guys takes a lot out of you physically and mentally because it was so hot, and having to grind at-bats against three of the best starters in the National League. We'll try to get off to a good start against the Marlins. It makes it a lot easier to forget about it if you win one on Friday."

Dusty Baker Too bad for the Reds they face the Marlins Josh Johnson and his 1.97 ERA on Friday.

After the three-game series against the Marlins, the Reds hit the road on a nine-game West Coast swing through Arizona before going to Los Angeles and San Francisco. It's one of three remaining trips west for the Reds, who go to St. Louis and Colorado in the first week of September and then to San Diego at the end of September. The Reds are 3-3 in the Pacific time zone this season. The Reds haven't won in Los Angeles since 2005 and since 2006 they are 25-49 in the Pacific and Mountain time zones.

The Cardinals' don't have a game west of Houston remaining on their schedule.

The Reds are just a half-game out of the wild card behind the Giants and a half-game ahead of the Phillies.

Both teams will likely see some suspensions, including Reds starter Johnny Cueto and possibly third baseman Scott Rolen.

As for Phillips?

"Man, I'll tell you this," Phillips told reporters after the game. "We lost. It's just how it is. They did their job and we didn't do ours. That's basically it. What happened, happened. We look forward to the Florida Marlins coming in."

Maybe it's a sign of maturity, but he didn't call the Marlins meanies.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 30, 2010 1:18 am

Rangers asked about Josh Johnson -- yes, really

Josh Johnson
OK, now the Rangers are just being ridiculous.

As if getting the best pitcher in the American League*, Cliff Lee, weren't enough, the high-flying Rangers reportedly took a flyer on acquiring the best pitcher in the National League*, Florida's Josh Johnson.

Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that in negotiating with the Marlins about Jorge Cantu, whom they got in a trade Thursday, there apparently was a conversation that went something like this:

Jon Daniels: "Say, Larry, did you get that bottle of tequila I sent over? Good. Did you have any yet? Oh. Well, uh, you should. It's really tasty, but you have to drink, like, a lot to really get the taste. Anyway, uh, crazy idea. What if we -- and this is just a thought -- were interested in taking one of your young pitchers off your hands?"

Larry Beinfest: "I'm listening. Who did you have in mind?"

Daniels: "Well, let's say, just for argument's sake ... (cough) Josh Johnson (cough)?"

Beinfest: "Uh ... are you being serious? Josh Johnson, 26 years old, under contract for four years, 10-3 record, 1.72 ERA? That Josh Johnson?"

Daniels: "Wait! Hear me out! For openers, you can have our three best prospects, and ..." (line goes dead)

Hey, you can't blame a guy for trying.

-- David Andriesen

*admittedly arguable, on both counts

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Posted on: July 20, 2010 1:37 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:04 pm

Trade deadline seller: Florida Marlins

As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline looms, the CBS Facts & Rumors team will look at the biggest players leading up to the deadline. This week we'll look at the teams who will be talked about the most; next week will be the players who might be moved.

Dan Uggla It's the time of the year where the Marlins get rid of future payroll considerations. The Marlins are only two games below .500 after their current three-game winning streak, but still trail three teams in the NL East and six teams in the wild-card race. Many other organizations may see this as a chance to make a move, but not the Marlins.

Record: 45-47, nine games out of the NL East, three behind third-place Philadelphia and three-and-a-half behind the second-place Mets. Six games back in the wild card.
President of Baseball Operations:  Larry Beinfest
Expectations: None. Really, how many people would notice if the Marlins moved from South Florida? If anything, the Marlins have more of an eye on 2012 when their new stadium opens.
Payroll status: The Marlins had an opening day payroll of more than $47 million, but just $18.75 million tied up in 2011.

What they have to offer

Dan Uggla (.277/.364/.467) is a free agent after the 2011 season, but the Marlins know they can get more for him now rather than next July. He's been mentioned as a match for the Rockies -- and he'd do great at Coors Field, but the Marlins may need to hang on to him…. he's no prize defensively, but he can flat rake.

It also makes financial sense for the Marlins to hold on to Uggla. The Marlins are the only team in the majors with a salary floor, because of an agreement they reached without the players union in January. Josh Johnson is slated to make $7.5 million in 2011 and with another chunk of money going to Uggla -- who is making $7.8 this season and is arbitration eligible -- the Marlins could satisfy their part of the agreement with the union without overpaying for a player on the free-agent market.

That could be bad news for not only the Rockies, but also the Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers, Braves and Phillies, who have been rumored to have interest in Uggla. He will likely get dealt by the deadline -- next year's deadline.

So who may get dealt?

Jorge Cantu (.261/.311/.417) has cooled since his white-hot start to the season, but is still a proven RBI producer, Cantu has 53 RBI so far this season. He's played third and first base this year, but is a better fit for an American League team looking for help at the DH spot. A free agent after the season and owed the rest of his $6 million salary for 2010, he could be a bargain for teams -- like the Angels or White Sox -- not looking to spend what it takes for a guy like Adam Dunn or Derrek Lee. He'd also be a nice piece for the Yankees and could certainly provide some pop off the bench.

Wes Helms (.241/.296/.388) is an option for teams wanting some of what Cantu provides without the price tag. Helms is making less than $1 million this year and is a free agent after the season. He'd be a rental player, but it's cheap rent and won't upset a clubhouse or make anyone nervous about their future with the team. Like Cantu, he can play first, third or DH.

Cody Ross Cody Ross (.280/.332/.408) is one of the more attractive outfielders on the market. He's arbitration eligible at the end of the season and making just $4.45 million this year. He'll get a good raise for 2011. With Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin, Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton, the Marlins could part with the 29-year old Ross. The Red Sox and Yankees reportedly have had preliminary discussions with the Marlins about Ross. The Braves are also interested.

Leo Nunez (3-2, 2.79 ERA, 22 saves) is attractive to any team looking for relief pitching, which is basically any team that considers itself still in the race. Relief pitching is scarce and expensive near the deadline, which makes Nunez more valuable. He's making just $2 million this year and is arbitration eligible after the season.

Ricky Nolasco (9-7, 4.66) is under team control for two more seasons, which makes him attractive to both the Marlins and suitors. He's making $3.8 million this season and is eligible for arbitration. He's been decent, but should receive a budget-busting raise in the offseason. Some reports have said he's available and others say the Marlins want to keep him.

Nate Robertson (6-7, 5.10) is a free agent after the season, but he's very cheap for the Marlins, despite his $10 million pricetag for this season. The Tigers are paying $9.6 million of his salary.

What they want in return?

The Marlins feel pretty good about their future outfield, with Stanton, Maybin and Morrison and if Ross is moved, expect Coghlan to move to third base. Rookie first baseman Gabby Sanchez is playing well and the shortstop spot is more than ably handled, so the team will likely be looking for arms in return or maybe a catching prospect -- really, not that much different than what every team wants.

Uggla stays put and Helms is dealt to the Yankees. Cantu's name pops up a couple of places, but he's not moved. The asking price is too high for Ross and the team is stuck with him.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More trade deadline chatter -- Buyers: New York Yankees

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Posted on: July 8, 2010 6:11 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 6:21 pm

Girardi leaning toward Price to start for AL?

David Price On a media conference call for All-Star managers Thursday, Yankees/American League skipper Joe Girardi seemed to hint that the Rays' David Price will get the nod for the AL.

"I believe he is a strong candidate,'' Girardi said of Price. "Obviously when you look at the five pitchers that we have going, the five starters -- and you have to exclude [Boston’s Clay] Buchholz because he’s on the DL -- Price, [New York’s Phil] Hughes, [Seattle’s Cliff] Lee, [Boston’s Jon] Lester, and [New York’s Andy] Pettitte, these are all qualified guys. And you look at who’s on turn.

"Price is leading the American League in wins. He’s an extremely strong candidate. I think he’s second in ERA. He’s had a fabulous first half. And we’ll look at that as we get closer to Sunday."

Girardi has until Monday to announce his decision, and it would be tough to argue against the selection of 24-year-old Price. He has won a league-best 12 games, is second to Lee among qualifying players with a 2.42 ERA and Tuesday would be his natural day to start.

Lee might be able to make an even better case with his AL-best ERA (2.34) and WHIP (0.95). But he's won four fewer games than Price (even though that's hardly his fault) and would be on four days' rest. Then there's the matter of his thought-to-be-impending trade, and the possibility that he might be in another uniform -- or in the National League -- by the All-Star Game.

Speaking of the National League, Charlie Manuel is in a bit of a tough spot. Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez would seem to be a no-brainer given his accomplishments this season (15-1 record, 2.20 ERA, no-hitter), but he had been surprisingly human in his three starts (8.66 ERA) prior to Thursday's impressive win over the Cardinals. Florida's Josh Johnson, on the other hand, is on fire right now and leads baseball with a 1.70 ERA.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 9, 2010 7:16 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2010 7:20 pm

Marlins-Phillies postponed

The Marlins-Phillies game in Philadelphia tonight was postponed and will be made up during the Marlins' trip to Philadelphia in September .

The Marlins' Josh Johnson and Phillies' Roy Halladay will both be pushed back to Thursday night's game.

It is the second rainout of the season for the Marlins, who also had a game against the Rockies rained out in April that was made up the next day as part of a doubleheader.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com