MLB San Diego Padres

5 Reasons Why Josh Johnson Will Fail With San Diego Padres

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5 Reasons Why Josh Johnson Will Fail With San Diego Padres

Josh Johnson
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Johnson is just three years removed from an All-Star season. In 2010, he went 11-6 with a 2.30 ERA for the Florida Marlins in 28 starts. Johnson struck out 186 batters in 183.2 innings and made his first All-Star team. He and Ubaldo Jimenez were considered the two favorites to start the game with Jimenez getting the nod. Johnson ended up pitching the third and fourth innings and was perfect while striking out two.

In the three years since then, Johnson has gone 13-23 and has only made more than 16 starts once. He was injured early on in 2011 and made only nine starts before being placed on the 60-Day DL. This wasn’t the first injury concern for Johnson; he had Tommy John surgery in 2007 and missed most of that season and the start of 2008. At the end of the 2010 season, Johnson missed the final month with a sore pitching arm.

He was healthy in all of 2012 but ineffective for the Marlins, who dealt him to the Toronto Blue Jays in a salary dump. This was the first time Johnson had pitched in the American League and it would be in the toughest division in baseball. Johnson had the worst year of his career going 2-8 in 16 starts with an ERA of 6.20. He missed all of May with injuries before coming back on June 4. He had one of his best starts of the season on August 6 against Seattle, but it would be his last in 2013. Johnson was dealing with a sore forearm and was placed on the 60 Day DL.

It is a tough move and usually unsuccessful one when a pitcher goes from the NL to the AL. Johnson will now be going back to the NL and pitching in a pitcher's park for the San Diego Padres. Even with those things working in his favor, this will still be an unsuccessful season for him.

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5. Decreased Velocity

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In 2010, when Josh Johnson was healthy, he was averaging 95.62 MPH on his fastball. Since his shoulder injury at the end of that season, his velocity has dropped below 93 MPH regularly. His inability to get people out with his fastball will continue and his strikeout numbers will continue to decrease as well.

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4. Aging

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Josh Johnson is no longer the young, hard throwing pitcher he was five years ago. He is at the point in his career when he can't just throw the ball past people and has to learn to pitch. At his age -- he will be 30 when the season begins -- it is difficult to get the velocity back, and he will need to rely on location and movement.

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3. Playing in the NL West

NL West
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Playing in the National League West will hurt Johnson's ERA. He plays on one of the two teams that don't score many runs in the division, which means he will matched up against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies in one-third of his starts. All of the teams in the division other than the San Diego Padres finished in the top 5 in the NL in batting average last year.

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2. No Run Support

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The Padres are an offensively challenged team playing in a pitcher's park. Josh Johnson went through this same issue when he was with the Marlins and would often press during games. He would over-pitch thinking that if he gave up more than a run he would lose the game. He needs to avoid this thinking even though it inevitably is true.

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1. Injuries

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When power pitchers like Johnson continue to have forearm and shoulder injuries, usually it doesn't get better with age. He has only started 30 games twice in his eight-year career and has only thrown four complete games. He throws a lot of pitches and not very many innings which usually leads to more injuries. He continuously extends himself by throwing 25-30 pitches in an inning and overthrows to get out of it. The one-year deal by San Diego was smart because by the time he is fading they can trade him away and get a prospect in return. That is if he can make it to June.