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Josh Johnson is feeling good heading into spring training

Feb 8, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

Josh Johnson Getty Getty Images

Padres starter Josh Johnson has been a Major League regular for eight seasons, but has been able to cross the 100-inning threshold just four times. The right-hander has famously had trouble staying healthy and it was the case last year after coming to the Blue Jays in a mega-trade with the Marlins. He made only 16 starts and posted a 6.20 ERA, suffering from inflammation in his right triceps, a blister on his throwing hand, tendinitis in his left knee, and a forearm strain.

Johnson underwent surgery in October to remove bone spurs in his right elbow. Lately, he has been working out near his home in Nevada and has received good reviews from UNLV head coach Tim Chambers which gave him a boost of confidence as he prepares to head into spring training with the Padres. Via’s Corey Brock:

“He walked up to me and said, ‘I can see a difference in just you playing catch’ at the 75 feet or what it was at the time,” Johnson said. “That was huge. I’ve felt good but then to have someone else say I can see a difference, can see the extension … that was nice.”

Johnson also talked about how the elbow injury snuck up on him:

“Spring Training [in 2013], [the elbow] felt good, but there was something in there that wasn’t bothering me yet,” Johnson said. “We got to April and it started creeping in. You could tell that something wasn’t quite there. I couldn’t get to that extension.”

The Padres signed Johnson to a one-year, $8 million deal, hoping to get out of him what the Blue Jays could not — a full healthy and productive season. His fastball averaged 95 MPH as recently as 2010, but it fell below 93 MPH over the past two seasons. Additionally, he’s induced fewer ground balls and become more homer-prone, but a move to the spacious confines of Petco Park should help in that regard.

  1. jkaflagg - Feb 8, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    If he’s healthy, Petco will revive his career….Pretty giant if, though….

  2. dirtyharry1971 - Feb 8, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    This was part of the famous trade where the Marlins took the bluejays to the cleaners and then some, when history looks back on the worst trades ever in MLB this one should easily be top 3. I would love nothing more then to see the jays sign Josh “two win” Johnson again cause id love nothing more then to watch him get beat up again in the AL East and then go on the DL list like he always does just like Reyes does every year. How AA was never fired for this deal is even more prove that the jays ownership and front office are totally CLUELESS!! I LOVE IT!!

    • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 12:07 AM

      What an utter lowlife you are – taking pleasure in someone’s medical misfortunes. But we already knew that. Of course you love it, because, being a miserable nothing yourself, you glory in the travail of folks who’ve worked hard and struggled like professionals while you sit back relieving your feelings of worthlessness by snickering at their success. Well, nobody, you can love it as Johnson takes his eight million dollars to the bank while you’re serving burgers at the local greasy spoon in between getting booted out of each special school that fails to endow you with baseline literacy.

      That, and of course, your even more ignorant and imbecilic remark that the Feesh took the Feather Lice “to the cleaners” was surely borne out in the Feesh’s nearly historic last place finish, when all those Jays made such enormous contributions to the team’s success in occupying the cellar early and clinging to it with such tenacious tentacles of lebenslust.

      You’re a vulgar, ill-bred, hopeless moron, period.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 9, 2014 at 7:27 AM

        Old gasser is pretending to be a fortune teller again I see, its amazing how you know all of this thru a message board I gotta hand it to ya. You want to see a moron in action? Just re-read your post and after you do sit there and think for a moment and say to yourself “I don’t know this guy, I never met this guy so how the hell do I know anything about him?” That is of course if your brain can process a thought like that which I highly doubt it can, otherwise you wouldn’t be writing such silly nonsense. But since that will never stop let me give you some advice, the old “serving burgers” story is even older then you are, come up with some new material if that’s possible.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 8:20 AM

        Everyone here knows all about you, gutter life. Only you and one other correspondent here, who for the moment shall remain as nameless as he is mindless, could write anything as disgusting as your gleeful mockery of Josh Johnson’s injuries up above and then come back here and pretend you never wrote it. Who do you think you’re fooling? You’re the only one we know who would be clueless enough to fall for such an obvious gambit.

        As far as “not knowing you,” your comments tell us everything we need or want to know: that you’re a dumb, ignorant, insignificant parasite who tries to overcome your blatantly obvious awareness of being precisely a dumb, ignorant, insignificant parasite by acting out like a spanked baby in hopes of attracting attention. The burger image was, as anyone literate or with a dram of mind in their brains realizes – which description necessarily excludes you – no “fortune telling,” though typically you picked the wrong phrase for it – just an appropriate allegory of your insignificance. It’s typical of your unconsciousness that you think no one notices that after months of lame nursing home and dementia jokes about me, you would suddenly become – oh, is sensitive even the word? – touchy about being stereotyped yourself. Too bad about you. Get used to it.

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 9, 2014 at 12:29 AM

      There’s something wrong with you, Slingblade. But I’ll play, huckleberry.

      So. Picking on the Blue Jays again, is it? Now, IIRC you are a Yankee fan. So, in honor of the phrase “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” lets play a game I’ll call “Yankee trades that sucked”

      Let me see what I can recall

      You know, I do believe the worst trade in baseball history belongs to the Yankees? They infamous Jay Buhner trade. I quote Mr. Costanza “What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for?”

      Or, for yuks, the swap with the CWS. IIRC that was Loaiza to NY for Jose Contreras to Chicago. IIRC, Loaiza SUCKED and Contreras was a stud (’05 WS, remember that?) Nice move, Cashman.

      But then there’s trading for Javier Vazquez not once, but TWICE. He sucked both times

      But of course I’ve always enjoyed recalling the Willie McGee to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Bob Sykes trade. Sykes did what? Nothing. Willie McGee? NL ’82 ROY, ’85 NL MVP, & Cardinals win the ’82 World Series.

      But hey, speaking of ’82 reminds me of this little gem when, in ’82, The New York Yankees trade Fred McGriff, Dave Collins and Mike Morgan to the (I can hardly believe this is so) Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd. That’s right, YOUR TEAM TRADED AWAY FRED MCGRIFF, a damn near HOF player for a bag of balls to the team you hate the most. I LOVE IT

      I saved that one for last, just for you, Slingblade.

      • cur'68 - Feb 9, 2014 at 12:33 AM

        I recall the Fred McGriff trade. WTF were they thinking? And Jay Buhner. Oy. But this is a silly game, really. All team have stuff like this in their history. Price of business in the Major Leagues of Baseball, yo.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 9, 2014 at 10:01 AM

        I know. It is stupid. I think Slingblade up there knows this full well. Pity he lacks the intellectual honesty to face up to having opened a can of worms for which he is ill equipped to handle.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 9, 2014 at 6:53 AM

        Jay Buhner was overrated, he was a all or nothing dave kingman type and I never cared for players like that sorry. Contreras sucked big time, I don’t blame them for trading him for a bucket of balls. Did you ever see who the Yanks gave up in both Javier Vazquez deals? Nothing much. Willie McGee was a bad one, I cant defend that move. Now if you and Cur68 had an ounce of baseball knowledge you wouldn’t even dare bring up the Fred McGriff deal because where was he gonna play if the Yanks kept him? Mattingly was at first and was going to hold that spot for years to come, granted they could have got more back maybe im not sure how highly rated Fred was in the minor’s but they had to trade him. Now the deals that I would really like to take back would be Doug Drabek and Jose Rijo but you are not nearly as smart as you would like to think you are to name those guys. So as they say School is out junior

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        WHat know you of school, Slingblade? I think you left your eduction much too early. Possibly in the 2nd grade.

        There is little that separates any of your refutations for what the Blue Jays did. In fact, your team’s commissions are worse by far. The players the Yankees gave up went on to assist their teams mightily or have long productive careers. The ones the Blue Jays gave up have done what, precisely?

        It isn’t even close, Slingblade. Why don’t you admit it? When looking at terrible trades, the Yankees far surpass anything the Blue Jays have ever done.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 8:23 AM

        Another ignorant waste of space by our virtual village idiot. Can we interest you in hockey?

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 8:35 AM

        @themanytoolsofignorance: I do like that handle “slingblade,” by the way. It works. Yes, there’s something wrong with him. Quite a few things, ackcherley. Prominent among them is that he’s probably too stupid to have figured out what you meant by it.

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 9, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        He’s a central casting troll

        Did the Blue Jays fans invent this low brow just to drum up interest in there team? I can’t imagine this is a real person. No one is this stupid.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        @many: You may be on to something. I like to think of him/it as an “artificial stupidity,” as opposed to an artificial intelligence. In the science fiction novels of the great William Gibson, set in the relatively near future, the matrix (his term for cyberspace) has become so congested with data that artificial intelligences (AI’s) nucleate and form spontaneously around bodies of information and behave like gremlins, disrupting the whole system. There’s ackcherley a special branch of what might once have been Interpol that patrols the web hunting these aberrations down – it’s called, bless Gibson’s sentient heart, the Turing Squad. I view our virtual village idiot here as an incompletely formed AI, and have deemed him therefore an AS. Unfortunately, it does appear that something really can be that stupid. That, of course, leaves your disbelief that no one could be that stupid one of those open-ended theoretical conundrums that will require instruments currently beyond the range of our technology to answer once and for all.

    • doctorofsmuganomics - Feb 9, 2014 at 1:20 AM

      “when history looks back on the worst trades ever in MLB this one should easily be top 3”

      Not even close. But hey, why let facts get in the way when you can be an uneducated scumbag who celebrates injuries.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 9, 2014 at 6:55 AM

        Nowhere did I celebrate anyone’s injury, so my advice to you a$$clown is to learn how to read and then get back to me.

      • nbjays - Feb 9, 2014 at 8:08 AM

        Doc… dirtyharry is the HBT equivalent of a seagull on the Toronto waterfront. Anytime someone tries to make a post about the Jays, he flies in, makes a lot of useless and unintelligible noise, craps all over everything and everyone, then leaves.

        Well, actually, he doesn’t leave… more’s the pity.

  3. cur'68 - Feb 9, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    Ah, Josh Johnson. T’wasn’t meant to be, I guess. Some dudes are meant to be a Beaver Wrestler, some are not. He threw hard, but not often. When he was throwing, his aim was suspect. Still, I liked him for going out there and trying to do his job.

    I hope his elbow clean up was successful. Good luck to him in the giant confines of Petco.

    • nbjays - Feb 9, 2014 at 7:59 AM

      Yeah, Cur, if anywhere can revive his career, it’s Petco. No finer pitcher’s park anywhere. It’s the equivalent of sending a struggling slugger to Coors Field to rehab.

    • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      JJ was a classic example of an injured ballplayer making things worse for himself by succumbing to the pressure of living up to his paycheck rather than taking the time off he needed to deal with is medical issues. While it may seem like an admirable thing – the Diamondbacks would dearly prize an entire team of disabled ballplayers grinding it out in last place, to hear them talk about it – it does the team no good whatsoever, either. The same thing could be said for R. A. Dickey last year. He was pitching with multiple orthopedic issues that discombobulated his delivery and he’s another one who should have taken the time to heal himself insofar as possible. The results were so poor that, finally, rather than admire these guys for trying to gut it out, the fans dreaded it every time their turns in the rotation came up. And what do you say about trainers and team doctors who permit this sort of thing to go on?

      • vivabear - Feb 9, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        Now u fancy urself an mlb team doctor, Old Pederast? You are the last person that should be making determinations about pitchers shutting it down or pitching through some minor maladies.

      • cur'68 - Feb 9, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        I’ve long had my suspicions about those trainers, Gator. Remember 2012? It was a parade to the DL for so many guys I lost track. The TJ surgeries flew thick and fast. Still, there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot in the way of options. Besides, both JJ & RA claimed to be healthy enough to go. Anyways, whom else to send out there?

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 2:17 PM

        Teddybore is converging with our virtual village idiot – his spelling and punctuation is imploding. This confirms what I’ve always suspected: idiocy is contagious.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        Cur – find someone in the minors, make a trade, push someone forward from the boolpen. Look, if your go-to guy is hurting and being ineffective anyway, it’s a tossup between starting a setup man and losing or pitching your injured man and losing anyway, plus risking a worse injury. This is truer than ever if it’s one of your aces. In RA’s case, the guy was altering his windup and delivery to compensate for his aches and pains – great way to hurt a knee, a hip, a shoulder (though since he was born without a UCL anyway, there was at least no risk of tearing that). It’s certainly a tough call but so many things went wrong for the Feather Lice last season that protecting their two top of the rotation guys for the long haul should have been a priority.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        Edit function: “…are imploding.” Well, like I theorized, it’s contagious, alright. The trick is to cut off contact as soon as your badge starts turning green.

      • vivabear - Feb 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        Old Felcher – stick to references about obscure sea life. “it’s a tossup between starting a setup man”…MLB teams don’t just put a set up man in the starting rotation on a whim. Stay away from subjects about which u have no clue. I know it’s difficult with ur limited mental capacity, but please, for your own sake, try it.

      • cur'68 - Feb 9, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        I tell you what, Gator, you make some salient points. The Beav Planners did give some AAA guys a shot and it didn’t go well at all for them, but they weren’t particularly long outings. When they knew it was a lost season, they should probably have shut JJ and RA down and gone all AAA, just to get those guys some seasoning.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        Little nobody: I didn’t say it was a whim. I said it was a tossup. That implies some thinking needs to be done about it. I doubt if anyone here is surprised that you wouldn’t be able to empathise with that. By the way, good to see your head back in the sewer, where it’s most at home. “Felcher” definitely has more class than “pederast” or “racist,” though I find all three of your desperate epithets hilarious.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        Cur – yeah, I know they tried doing some switching around. But the bottom line was that they kept trotting those guys out there even though they were both ineffective and hurting. I’m sure RA and JJ kept telling them that they were good to go, but at a certain point someone should have said enough is enough; we’re losing anyway and risking these guys’ further health. Add to that, that they were pretty well out of it by midseason already. Maybe they were spooked by 2012. I remember what a nightmare that was. And they may even have decided early on that they weren’t going to try to keep JJ anyway, whereas JJ was looking at his walk year following the Coriolis effect down the plughole and perhaps he got a little desperate himself. By his own admission, though, he already knew he wasn’t right by April.

        As it turned out, he didn’t do too badly for himself considering the year he had. On the other hand, maybe he’s very lucky that he didn’t do more damage to himself than he did.

      • vivabear - Feb 9, 2014 at 4:55 PM

        Old Felcher – bottom line, no team would throw a set up man into the starting rotation. Try to twist the facts all u want, that’s what u implied and ur an idiot for even thinking that.

      • cur'68 - Feb 9, 2014 at 5:38 PM

        This is an adult conversation you’re intruding in, vivaidiot. Until you can demonstrate any ability whatsoever to behave like a grown thinking person you aren’t welcome in it. Now take your juvenile, puerile commentary back to your cesspool.

      • vivabear - Feb 9, 2014 at 5:53 PM

        Felchee’68 – this doesn’t concern u

      • cur'68 - Feb 9, 2014 at 6:10 PM

        Since you stuck your large stupid nose into our discussion this has everything to do with me. And, since I find you a stupid, dim witted, vulgar, mental defective, I would like it very much if you went back to collecting and cataloging your snot-balls for posterity or whatever it is odious people like you do with the long hours of their meaningless days.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 6:12 PM

        You see, cur, this is Teddybore’s private cesspool.

        Okay now, let’s leave our pet sewer rat’s utterly hilarious comment that teams don’t shift guys into the rotation from the boolpen for our “dumbest remarks of the year” list in December. What I’m wondering is who the Feather Lice are going to turn to when, not if, they have some breakdowns this season. I haven’t heard anything out of Biggeth Dicketh this winter so I don’t know what kind of shape he’s in; he hasn’t been climbing Kilimanjaro or anything. I also haven’t paid much attention to what the Beavermen have been up to because they don’t seem to have been up to much. How does this bunch look to you going into ST?

      • vivabear - Feb 9, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Old Felcher – not all bullpen arms are “set up men” dummy. Ur lack of baseball knowledge is so prevalent whenever you attempt to wade into any conversation about the game. stick to what u know, obscure sea life.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 7:08 PM

        sewer bear: I didn’t say or even infer all boolpen arms were setup men. You did. I should have guessed when you resorted to twitterspeak that your readings skills, never substantial in the first place, were deteriorating even further. If you seriously believe that everyone else on here doesn’t see right through your lame elementary school rhetorical gambits, you’ve gone even further over the edge that we thought. I may indeed be possessed of esoteric oceanographic knowledge, but your range of legitimate understanding appears to be confined to the lowest slime level of pornographic slang. And this makes perfect sense.

      • cur'68 - Feb 9, 2014 at 7:09 PM

        Well, My Boys have some arms coming back from 2012 TJS. Drabek & Hutchinson. Also, Ricky Romero’s in AAA learning NOT to be Scott Kazmir, circa 2010. There are a couple of AAA guys who look ready (Nolin and Stroman) so THIS season, there are options. Also, one or two of the BP guys look like legit SPs (Esmil Rogers, Brad Lincoln, and the newly acquired Jeremy Jeffers). Its never going to be perfect, but its better than last season. I hope.

      • vivabear - Feb 9, 2014 at 7:17 PM

        Old Felcher – sorry to see so many spelling errors in your last post.

        Here’s your exact quote once again: “Look, if your go-to guy is hurting and being ineffective anyway, it’s a tossup between starting a setup man and losing or pitching your injured man and losing anyway, plus risking a worse injury.”

        You’ve typed setup man in plain english. Not sure what else to say about it. It’s sad when you try to project your failures on others.

    • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      Sewer bear: uh – yeah, I typed setup man, the assumption – and the correct one – being that it would make more sense to use a guy who has pitched more than one inning at a time in most of his outings when you need to replace a starter. This isn’t complicated – it just seems complicated to a moron like you. I have no idea whatsoever what you’re talking about most of the time and, clearly, neither do you – you’re just stringing together words along some demented illogical axis in a desperate attempt to clear the bile out of your system and seem like less of an idiot than you wind up sounding anyway. And again, you’re not fooling anyone, even if you are nauseating them.

      Cur: so who replaces Johnson in the rotation? Have you heard anything about what kind of shape RA is in?

      • vivabear - Feb 9, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        Old Felcher – setup man refers to a reliever who will typically pitch one, or part of an inning in the 7th or 8th inning; setting up the closer. Not a hard concept to grasp for anyone other than you. Since these relievers are conditioned to pitch short outings, there’s no way they could just be thrust into a rotation for an injured starter. Should the decision be made to turn them into starters, they would go to the minors to get “stretched out.” Building up their pitch count and arm strength.

        I’m very sorry you have a tenuous grasp on direct and plain english. I’m sure it goes hand in hand with your social ineptness.

      • cur'68 - Feb 9, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        Johnson’t replacement has been revealed. I’m left wondering if they do something foolish and go for Ubaldo Jiminez or Santana. If neither, then Hutcheson will get the start I guess.

        As for your boys, I’m looking forward to The Feesh Keed’s first start of the season.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 8:12 PM

        Cur – okay, so they haven’t picked anyone yet. I thought maybe I had missed some announcement about it. Well, it’ll be an interesting spring.

        As far as the Feesh, peetching isn’t going to be their problem. Some things about El Keed seemed almost too good to be true last season. It’d be great if he just picks up where he left orf, but even though I don’t believe in a sophomore jinx, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if he were partially “solved” this season and had to do some scrabbling. I’m more interested in how Nate Eovaldi develops now, and in seeing if Henderson Alvarez can improve his control and concentration. Is Jacob Turner going to grow into the stud they thought they were trading for?

        And Heaney is coming – that’s going to be the big story this spring. Is he really ready to launch? The Feesh really need a lefty to give that totally righthanded rotation an alternate look.

        No, the team’s big problem is going to be run production, again. Absurdly, they waited two and a half seasons for Tweeter to evolve into a three or five hitter before they finally gave up on him. I mean, the Cubs wanted to talk about him in a package for Garza and Beinfest declared him untouchable. (Therein, by the way, lies the genesis of our pet sewer bear’s apoplexy, but I know you remember that episode even if he claims not to).

        Meanwhile, the Feesh have loaded up off’n the scrapheap. Bugosevich, Furcal, Jones, McGhee….oh brother. there’s a batting order that’ll strike terror into the hearts of the divisional rotations. They can really rake – mostly in October when they go back home and have to clean up their yards. Saltalamacchia was about the only guy they acquired during the orfseason who figures to be an even remotely reliable bat. The other hopeful run producers are still big question marks – Ozuna, Marisnick, Yelich. As I said back a few days ago, Yelich didn’t do badly in his first season but his power, which was moderate at best, disappeared when he came up, and Marisnick never got going at all. Ozuna was streaky and he’s got that howitzer of an arm. But then, the Iron Giant was also pretty streaky and still swings at a lot of stuff way down and away. Pitchers know that about him and that’s usually the one they save for an out pitch when they get two strikes on him. You could see it in his eyes a lot last season when they got him on it: “Why can’t I lay off that goddamned pitch?”

        Oh, sewer bear – sorry, if not for my mnemonic acuity I would have forgotten you, pointless as you are. Yes, of course they would “stretch him out,” you slobbering moron. You keep trying to twist the obvious and fundamental around to make it sound like you understand something about the game that I don’t. Like, for example, that I was making an implicit distinction between a closer and someone a team could afford to move out of the boolpen without disrupting their disposition too much. Simple, no? Basic, no? Face it: I was born knowing more about baseball than you’ll know by the time your ongoing process of decomposition has ended in a court finding that you’re brain dead and that somebody really ought to open a window. Maybe it just goes along with rooting for a team with over a century of futility behind it – and, most likely, ahead of it.

      • vivabear - Feb 9, 2014 at 9:36 PM

        Old Felcher – again instead of owning up to ur own idiocy, you just keep hammering away at ur keyboard, talking in circles trying to confuse the issue. Face it ur a moron.

      • Old Gator - Feb 9, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        Face it sewerbear, you disgusting, hate-obsessed little homophobe, you’re a lowlife. Try spelling it “you’re,” a contraction of “you are.” Twitterspeak is a dead giveaway that you’re missing a chromosome for coherence.

  4. sfm073 - Feb 9, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    Wow $8 million for this guy. More power to him, but it’s crazy what these teams will pay for someone just for the chance to strike gold.

  5. ch0psuey - Feb 9, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Hoping Josh has a comeback year. Lord knows the Padres dont need any more broken arms, RIP 2014 Luebke.

  6. Carl Hancock - Feb 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    I’m guessing Josh Johnson will have a bounce back year in Petco, some sucker will then give him a multi-year deal and then he will promptly bomb. These narratives sometimes write themselves.

    • gloccamorra - Feb 9, 2014 at 6:18 PM

      Petco helps, but not always in the way you think. Instead of losing 8-5, he could lose 2-1 and people will think he’s pitching well. Watch his road starts, especially in Denver/Milwaukee/Cincinnati, and ignore those in L.A./S.F.Those last two play almost like Petco.

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