John Lott of the National Post has reported that the Toronto Blue Jays are seeking the assistance of Dr. James Andrews yet again, this time as a second opinion to confirm there is no ligament damage for Josh Johnson after an MRI revealed a muscle strain on the inside part of his forearm.
This isn’t the first time the Blue Jays have called on the reputable Dr. Andrews who is well-known as one of the best orthopedic surgeons in professional sports. He performed surgery for two other Toronto Blue Jays pitchers last year Drew Hutchison and Dustin McGowan.
According the article from Lott, Johnson said “he was confident the problem was not the ligament”. You can never take too much stock in a player’s self-diagnosis but as an alumnus of the Tommy John club there is at least hope he may know what a damaged ligament feels like.
It looks like Johnson’s upcoming visit is a precautionary measure and hopefully we will learn more in a couple of days. It makes sense that the Blue Jays want one of the best in the business examining Johnson as they have the big decision of whether or not to offer him a qualifying offer this coming off-season.
Johnson, 29, has struggled mightily at times this season is is allowing 11.6 H/9, 1.7 HR/9 and 3.3 BB/9 to go along with a 18.5% HR/FB rate and 4.62 FIP. He does have a respectable 9.2 K/9 (masked slightly by an increased number of batters faced per inning) and a 2.77 SO/BB so it’s reasonable to question if this is just an outlier year.
What can’t be questioned is Johnson’s ability to stay healthy. He’s only surpassed 200 innings once in his eight year MLB career. Whether it was his trip to the DL earlier this season, reports of tendonitis in his landing knee or now his most reason forearm/elbow problems injuries continue to haunt Johnson.