By Matt Patterson
Here’s an expanded look at Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson from our Main Event package in Monday’s paper. Johnson is in the second year of his comeback from Tommy John surgery in 2007. I’ll be posting more of these throughout the week.
Josh Johnson, RHP, Florida Marlins
Career stats: 19-11, 3.54 ERA, 234 strikeouts.
Salary: Johnson signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with Florida in the off-season. He is eligible for arbitration in two years.
Oklahoma connection: Johnson was born in Minneapolis, but pitched Jenks High School to two consecutive Class 6A state titles. Johnson lives in Tulsa in the off-season with his wife Heidi and son Cash.
Role: The No. 2 starter in Florida’s rotation.
Upside: Plenty. Johnson was 7-1 in his return last season with 77 strikeouts in 87 innings. His command and velocity are excellent and he’s shown the ability to be a workhorse in the past. Johnson’s primary goal is to stay healthy, he’d also like to pitch at least 200 innings this year. And he has improved on his strikeout to walk ratio this spring with 26 innings pitched and 25 strikeouts through last week.
Cause for concern: He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2007. The average time to return from that surgery is 16 months. Johnson made it back in 12. Even though he has pitched well in the spring, he’s doing it with a surgically repaired elbow.