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
Sometimes, there is a certain level of the unknown that is always hidden within club releases and statements; the Belichick Syndrome if you would. In regards to Josh Johnson, things are never quite as simple as the ways they are made out to be.
With Josh Johnson, the real answer is often hidden within what is not already being said.
Two days ago, the Toronto Blue Jays shifted the rotation in an effort to give Johnson a few extra days off, moving him from a scheduled start on Monday against Oakland to a Wednesday match-up with the Boston Red Sox. Two days later, the Blue Jays placed the right-hander on the disabled list with a forearm strain, as reported by Shi David of Sportsnet.ca.
Davidi would follow that tweet up with a bit more elaboration from the pitcher himself.
In his stead, the Blue Jays will recall right-hander Thad Weber from Triple-A Buffalo. This will be Weber’s second stint with the big club, having posted an 0-1 record, a 2.25 ERA, and 2 strike-outs in 4 innings of work earlier this season. He has a 6-4 record, a 2.63 ERA, and a 4.06 K/BB ratio in 15 appearances (12 starts) for the Bisons.
The handling of Johnson’s latest injury is oddly similar to when Johnson was placed on the disabled list on May 2nd. At that time, the pitcher had been recently skipped in the rotation for what was thought to be minor inflammation to his right tricep. Johnson would miss all of the month of May with the injury.
Now, the right-hander is again taking an extended vacation in the middle of the season With only seven weeks remaining on the schedule, it is probable that he’s thrown his last pitch of the year and perhaps his Blue Jays career.
A free agent at the end of the season, Johnson has done nothing to shed the image as a fragile arm in the rotation. Furthermore, his 2-8 record, 6.20 ERA, and -1.4 bWAR have done little to make a team comfortable in taking a flyer on a long-term contract on him this winter.
But hey, it should make the Blue Jays decision in regards to extending a qualifying offer very easy. Anything short of a resounding “No” would be an utter mistake at this stage.