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Marlins ace Josh Johnson loving life after Tommy John surgery

Apr 27, 2010, 8:45 AM EDT

Josh Johnson notched a career-high 12 strikeouts in a complete-game victory Monday night and equaled the Padres’ hit total by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs at the plate.
One of the biggest Tommy John surgery success stories, Johnson has upped both his strikeouts and ground balls while cutting his walks since returning and is now 24-7 with a 3.33 ERA in 52 starts after going under the knife. At age 26 he might be MLB’s most underrated ace.
Setting aside Johnson’s injury wrecked 2007, his ERAs by season are 3.65, 3.10, 3.61, 3.23, and now 3.19. His career mark of 3.39 ranks sixth among all active starters with at least 500 innings behind only Tim Lincecum, Johan Santana, Roy Oswalt, Jake Peavy, and Roy Halladay.

  1. Jimmy Marlins Fan - Apr 27, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    ya know, in watching last night’s game…which was a blowout from the start…it was just fun to watch JJ attack hitters with his fastball and then keep them honest with his change up and slider
    that said…i think JJ is still getting better and that should really scare the heck out of the NL east

  2. Old Gator - Apr 27, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    They must’ve used mylar to patch that elbow. JJ is looking fearsome this year. I also think his entire motion looks smoother, more fluid, than before he hurt himself and that should reduce the wear and tear. Now if he stays healthy and the boys can spot him enough of a lead so that the bullpen doesn’t hand all his games back, he could be a legitimate Cy Young candidate this year. Or he might have to pitch nothing but complete games for the rest of the season.
    Not only that, but he’s been signed for a few more years to a reasonable deal, so Scrooge McLoria has little incentive to trade him away for another handful of EYPs – yet. (Jimmy, this second paragraph was just for you.)

  3. Jimmy Marlins Fan - Apr 27, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    well gator,
    i think the national media has already crowned halladay the cy young this year…and i just cant see them stopping their drooling anytime soon so i dont think JJ will be winning a cy young this year
    id also like to add, that JJ, unlike halladay(or so i can assume after his years in the AL) can actually hit…therefore adding to his worth as an overall ball player
    and i figured the last paragraph was for me, as apparently Mr. Loria kicked your puppies and ate your babies but meh, whatever…he is the best owner we have had by far and id like to see any marlins fan(yes we do exist) argue otherwise

  4. Old Gator - Apr 27, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    That’s like arguing whether you’d rather come down with malaria, the yaws or dengue fever. We have had a run of horrible ownerships, that’s for sure – although in all fairness to Huizinga, he brought the team here and if you count the couple of planning years prior to opening day he held out the longest so far, dismantling the team and selling it off to Henry within a year. Henry gave Dombrowski the all-clear and seed money to rebuild, then gave up when he couldn’t play Banana Republic politics well enough to get his stadium built and handed a loaded farm system and the core of the 2003 championship team to Scrooge McLoria, fresh from the destruction of the Expos, and Beinfest, who took credit for Dombrowski’s labors – and then Scrooge ploughed the team under in 2004. McLoria has been making noises about how competitive this team ought to be for six years now, without the concrete investment needed to make it competitive in actuality. That’s a shame because there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Larry Beinfest could build us another championship team within two years at most if he had a budget realistic in terms of MLB market realities.
    And by the way, by “competitive” I don’t mean crawling to within a few games of the lead every August and then sliding backwards like Captain Quint down his poopdeck into the jaws of third or fourth place every year. There’s feesh, and then there’s Feesh, you know? Anyway, arguing who among that trio of quitters was the “best” seems like an exercise in futility to me.
    Quick note on JJ: the season is very long. Halladay finally lost yesterday. As Abu Auda Tayi famously remarked to Sherif Ali about Lawrence of Arabia, he is not perfect.

  5. Jimmy Marlins Fan - Apr 27, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    i agree that its like picking which fatal and slowly debilitating disease you would rather have…but we cant pick the owners of our favorite teams so it is what is…ive met loria, i liked him…sue me
    and i agree that the new guys got a loaded amount of talent to deal with but you have to give beinfest credit for A. having the cojones to trade A-gon to get us a real closer B. firing torborg and replacing him with McKeon C. promoting trelle and cabs when he did
    but i disagree with what you said about 04, aside from trading away D-Lee(who i loved as a player)…we kept the nucleus of the team together for a while and fell short…and i believe 04 was the year where we were neck and neck with the division and wildcard but we had like 5 rainouts in a 2 week span which lead to double-headers all over the place, including 2 games in Comiskey…which i think drained the energy and momentum of that team and thus didnt lead us to the playoffs
    and i get the feeling in the last two years, any deadline deal we discussed involved losing stanton or morrison and this front office seems to think the world of those prospects and arent willing to trade them for rentals…which i think is the smart play

  6. Old Gator - Apr 27, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    Oh, I give Beinfest all the credit in the world – I reiterate what I already said above, that if he had a realistic budget to work with he could build us a championship team within no more than two years.
    I ought to clarify that I meant that Scrooge began taking the team apart following toe 2004 season, when the Chihuahua went on the Dan LeBatard show and memorably coined the term “market correction” in the midst of one of his ill-informed soliloquoys about 1940-era B movies. If I recall correctly, another problem with ’04 in addition to that lluvia-gnarled September schedule was that just about the only effective guy in the bullpen that year was Uegeth Urbina. I remember Boog Sciambi snarling, “if someone other than than Oogie doesn’t step up soon, this team is not going to the playoffs. You never could get one past the Boogster and I miss him almost as much as I miss Eddie Kaplan. And I won’t even get into the irony of Urbina landing in Chavez’s slammer. Maybe he’ll get lucky and get extradited to France too someday.
    And sure, Scrooge McLoria is likable – what con man isn’t? I sat two rows behind him in the platinum seats among the trophy wives for a couple of years and watched him behave like a big kid every time the Feesh did something to get happy about, and it was kinda fun to watch the Napster get so caught up in the game. But my little brother was a kid too, and if I went near his piggy bank he came after me with my uncle’s nine iron.

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