Speaking of abused pitcher arms, the Marlins might send Josh Johnson out there for 2 starts this week.
After spending Sunday in bed, Johnson was feeling much better Monday and was penciled in to start Tuesday against the Braves. ``I feel a lot better,'' he said. ``My throat and chest are still not quite there, but they're good enough.''
Johnson is within two outs of recording 200 innings pitched for the first time in his career. He also needs two more starts -- Tuesday's and the season finale Sunday in Philadelphia -- to earn a $25,000 bonus for making 33 starts this season.
``I want to get to that 200-inning mark and be out there for my team,'' he said.
Josh Johnson is starting today (Tue 9/29) after missing his start on Sun 9/27 with the flu. Any chance he also starts the season finale in Philly and reaches the 33 starts needed for the $25K bonus? Would be on normal 4 days rest. But the Marlins don't have a game on Thu this week, so ESPN's probables are West (10/2), Volstad (10/3), and Sanchez (10/4). Sean West (age 23) has thrown 167.1 IP combined this year. He had 100.2 IP in 2008 and 120.1 IP in 2007. So it might make sense for the Marlins to skip West's 10/2 start. Although a local paper (The Palm Beach Post) is reporting Josh Johnson will start Sun 10/4 - apparently Volstad is not scheduled to start 10/3.
Johnson will start Tuesday in place of Rick VandenHurk. Ricky Nolasco will start Wednesday's series finale in Atlanta. Either VandenHurk or Sean West will start Friday's series opener in Philadelphia. Anibal Sanchez will go Saturday and Johnson on Sunday.
According to Josh Johnson's agent, it's not going to be easy for the Marlins to sign him after 2011. So allowing him to reach a measly $25K bonus might be worth it as an effort to establish some goodwill. Although the start is in Philadelphia, so the Marlins wouldn't be sending him out there to draw fans to the park (drawing fans for home games is one of their biggest struggles as a franchise).
The Marlins have kept a careful eye on Johnson's lately. He's only thrown 363 pitches in September. His 3107 total pitches this year is 36th most in MLB. Before the kid gloves were put back on at the start of September, Johnson was near the Top 10 in total pitches.
What are the chances John Johnson actually gets a second start this week (and reaches his contract incentive plateau)? 50/50?