Blue Jays right-hander Josh Johnson will make his long-awaited return from the disabled list against tonight vs. the Giants. Johnson, who has been on the DL since late April with right triceps inflammation, has only made four starts this season.
In those outings, the 6’7″ right-hander has a 6.86 ERA, although most of that damage came in the shortest start of his career on April 11, when he allowed six earned runs in 1.1 innings against the Tigers.
Johnson’s return comes at a time when Toronto’s rotation is in need of a pick-me-up. Of their top six starters entering the season, only Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey have yet to miss a start, and they are the only ones to not find themselves on the disabled list or demoted. While Buehrle struggled early, he has pitched well during his past 5 outings and looks to be on track, the same can’t be said about Dickey who is struggling to regain his “ace-like” form. Dickey’s lack of command and velocity have been his undoing so far this season.
Let’s hope Johnson can provide a much needed boost to rotation that is coming undone at the seams. With Ricky Romero outrighted to triple-A (are we really surprised nobody wanted him off waivers?), Brandon Morrow nursing a sore forearm on the DL, J.A. Happ trying to get his leg back under him (sprained knee and also on the DL), the return of Johnson couldn’t come soon enough.
If Johnson remains healthy, look for him to perform extremely well as he is in a contract year. Also look for him to become trade bait near the July 31st deadline if the Jays can’t gain any material ground on the division by the allstar break.