When the Toronto Blue Jays made their big offseason trade with the Miami Marlins, I felt that Jose Reyes was the key as he is the best shortstop this organization has had since Tony Fernandez. But the most interesting player that became a Jay in the deal was starting pitcher Josh Johnson.
The big fella (who was once really good) made his sixth Jays start on Saturday afternoon, and despite being staked to a 4-0 lead his sloppiness led to him exiting after just five innings with the final result being a 6-4 Texas Rangers victory. He was not really hit super hard, but his control was an issue and it cost him a chance at his first victory of 2013. Johnson missed a lot of time with a triceps issue, but the fact that he remains at zero wins is disturbing.
This is a contract year for Johnson which usually means good results, but the veteran has been bad. Since 2008 his WHIP and ERA have never been as bad as they are in 2013. For the first time since ’08 he has allowed more hits than innings pitched, and he is not endearing himself to the Jays as he has allowed a home run in all four of his starts at Rogers Centre. Johnson has just a pair of road starts so far. His road start vs the light hitting San Francisco Giants was excellent, but his road start vs the Detroit Tigers was a nightmare as he was rocked for six runs in just 1.1 IP.
In the past Johnson has had some good seasons, but his last two have been awful at 8-16. He will still be looking for a big payday (JJ makes just under $14 million this season), but he is pitching himself out of a job in Canada despite the Jays’ increased payroll. There will surely be a team willing to try to resurrect Johnson’s career, but I have to think his Jays days are looking like one-and-done which is a big disappointment for me.
The Jays had an opportunity for a phenomenally rare sweep this afternoon, but Johnson contributed to the Rangers’ comeback as his 2013 struggles continued. I’ve definitely been underwhelmed by Josh Johnson (so far at least).