It might be best for Toronto to cut ties with Josh Johnson


Jun 28, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Josh Johnson (55) comes out of a game against the Boston Red Sox during the fourth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Full disclosure: I’m actually a Josh Johnson fan. Or at least I was.

But after yet another drubbing at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers last night I’ve completely lost my patient for the Blue Jays’ towering righthander.

Johnson still has talent oozing out of his fingertips. He’s not the flamethrower who formerly called Miami home but I always assumed his four-pitch repertoire would lead to continued success at the MLB level, or at least when he was healthy enough physically (or mentally?) to take the ball.

He’s had occasional glimpses of brilliance this season. Enough that it has taken me this long to give up on him. I attempted to find positives when they were seemingly hard to come by. I suggested a qualifying offer should be in order for Johnson as I thought that the Toronto Blue Jays should see if they can get something from the former stud.

Today that thought seems laughable, especially looking at his line from last night.

Despite his health issues I have always tried to see the light when it comes to Johnson. He returned to some very solid starts after he hit the DL, albeit against mostly National League West opponents, that gave me hope he still has enough left to be at least an above average major league pitcher.

Last night, even another National League West opponent couldn’t help solve Johnson’s problems. The game started off with so much hope as he sat down Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez in order. But everything fell apart for Johnson in the second. He’s now allowed 12 earned runs his last two starts after pitching very well in Cleveland before that.

Johnson has been criticized all year for nibbling around the plate and throwing far too much off-speed junk. He threw 67 pitches in 2+ innings last night and after a wild pitch followed by a questionable catcher’s interference call his night was over. Not that it mattered at that point as it was beginning to feel like a Ricky Romero start.

So where do the Toronto Blue Jays go from here? With the MLB Trade Deadline just around the corner I’m not really sure what this team can do to get better. But after supporting him earlier this season I’m done with Josh Johnson. Despite reports to the contrary, I think that the Jays would be best served to ship Johnson out-of-town before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.