Josh Johnson (johnsjo09)

From BR Bullpen

Joshua Michael Johnson

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Biographical Information[edit]

Josh Johnson made his major league debut at the end of 2005 and went 12-7 in 2006.

Johnson was picked by the Florida Marlins in the 4th round of the 2002 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Darrell Brown and made his pro debut that summer. In 2002 in the minors, he went 2-2 split between the rookie league and low Single A. After spending a couple seasons in higher Single A leagues in 2003 and 2004, he impressed in 2005 in Double A with Carolina in the Southern League, going 12-4.

He had no decisions in his first major league season, getting 10 strikeouts but also giving up 10 walks in 12 1/3 innings. In 2006, he posted a 3.10 ERA as one of the ten youngest players in the league. His career was then derailed by injury, limiting him to 4 starts in 2007, when he underwent his first Tommy John surgery. However, he came back strong in 2008, going 7-1, 3.61 in 14 starts, and in 2009, joined the elite of National League starters, being named to the All-Star team and posting a record of 15-5 with 191 strikeouts in 209 innings, with a 3.23 ERA.

Johnson continued to secure his place as one of baseball's top pitchers in 2010, being named to the All-Star team again and putting up a record of 11-6 with a league-leading 2.30 ERA in 28 starts and striking out over a batter per inning (186 in 183.2 innings). He was shut down early with the Marlins out of the race in order to limit his innings, then started 2011 roaring out of the gate. He was 3-0 in April with a 0.88 ERA, giving up only 18 hits and striking out 39 over 49 innings. That performance earned him the National League's Pitcher of the Month honors. However, in mid-May, he went on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation and did not pitch again that year.

Johnson returned to action on Opening Day in 2012, when he became the first pitcher in the history of the re-named Miami Marlins, and the first to pitch in Marlins Park on April 4th. He gave up 3 runs on 10 hits in 6 innings and was charged with his team's 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, but it was otherwise a very solid effort after a long lay-off. It took him a while to really get going, however, as by mid-May, his record stood at 0-3, 5.87 in 7 starts. He finally recorded his first win on May 15th, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6-2, at home. He finished the season with a record of 8-14, 3.81 in 31 starts, pitching 191 1/3 innings, during which he walked 65 and struck out 165. On November 13th, he was included in a blockbuster trade to the Toronto Blue Jays. Fellow veterans SS Jose Reyes, P Mark Buehrle, C John Buck and IF/OF Emilio Bonifacio all headed to Toronto, in return for a package of mainly young players including IFs Yunel Escobar and Adeiny Hechavarria, P Henderson Alvarez, C Jeff Mathis and three minor leaguers.

In spite of all their player acquisitions, the 2013 season did not start well for the Jays, as they were in last place at the end of April. Johnson's poor performance was one of the reasons, as after four starts, his record was 0-1, 6.86, with 28 hits allowed in 19 2/3 innings. On May 2nd, his name was placed on the disabled list with an inflamed right triceps as Ricky Romero took his place in the starting rotation. A week later, it was announced that Johnson would not return until early June at the earliest. Meanwhile, the Jays' starting pitching was awful, with Romero putting up two terrible starts in Johnson's absence and being sent back to the minors, and J.A. Happ, the Jays' best starter until then, suffering a scary injury when hit by a batted ball and going on the disabled list as well. Johnson returned to action on June 4th with his best start of the season, even though he was charged with a loss, giving up 2 runs - only one earned - in seven innings against the San Francisco Giants. He finally received a bit of run support to record his first win on June 23rd, 13-5 over the Baltimore Orioles, the 11th straight win by the Jays at that point. It was not his best effort, as he allowed 4 runs and 7 hits in 6 innings, but it was a relief to pitch with a lead after receiving a mere 13 runs of support over his first 7 starts. On August 13th, he returned to the disabled list with a sore forearm, and the Jays decided to shut him down for the remainder of what had been a very disappointing year. He was 2-8, 6.20 in 16 starts.

On November 19, 2013, Johnson signed a one-year deal as a free agent with the San Diego Padres. However, if the Friars were looking for a healthy 2014 season from Johnson, they were quickly disproved as he suffered a forearm strain in spring training, making him miss the start of the season. When the problem did not heal as quickly as anticipated, he was sent back to Dr. James Andrews, who had previously performed surgery on his elbow, in mid-April in order to seek another diagnostic. He underwent Tommy John surgery for a second time but was unable to return in 2015, as planned. Worse, he had to undergo the surgical procedure for the third time in September 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants on November 1, 2016, but on January 19, 2017, he opted to retire from baseball.

He is one of more than 100 major league players who have had the last name "Johnson", including two Hall of Fame players - Walter Johnson and Judy Johnson.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time NL All-Star (2009 & 2010)
  • NL ERA Leader (2010)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (2009)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (2009)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Will Leitch: "Josh Johnson was a fantasy player's dream pitcher",, February 24, 2022. [1]

Related Sites[edit]