The San Diego Padres thought they had found a nice value on the free agent market when they signed Josh Johnson to a one-year, $8 million deal this off-season. Now they will never know, as Johnson is lost for the season.
The big right-handed starting pitcher has been dealing with forearm soreness since Spring Training. When he did not make enough progress in his rehab, the Padres grew concerned and sent him to meet with Dr. James Andrews. The man who so often delivers the bad news about Tommy John surgery did exactly that. Johnson will be lost for the rest of the season with the second Tommy John operation of his career.
The right-hander will undergo his second Tommy John surgery Thursday. The procedure will be performed in Pensacola, Fla., by Dr. James Andrews. An exam by the noted orthopedic surgeon earlier this week revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in Johnson’s throwing elbow…
…Johnson will miss all of the 2014 season and some of 2015. Besides ranking as the latest and most significant blow to the Padres’ pitching depth, it is a dreaded repeat of history for the pitcher himself. Andrews performed Johnson’s first Tommy John surgery in 2007 and a cleanup procedure in October, removing bone spurs from Johnson’s right elbow.”
The sad news for Johnson is that when he does return it is unlikely he will resemble the same pitcher who was once capable of dominating opposing lineups. As noted by Lin, the track record for guys returning from a second Tommy John is rocky. That is especially true for a guy like Johnson who was already working to re-establish his value after a bad season.
Such is the cruel nature of pitching. Johnson has a career 58-45 record with a 3.40 ERA in nine seasons.