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Notes: Johnson sidelined by cramp

Rookie hurler misses turn after forearm tightness in last start

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

 

 

ATLANTA -- A forearm cramp is causing the Marlins to be extra cautious with rookie right-hander Josh Johnson.

Johnson's arm tightened in his Tuesday start against the Mets, in a game that featured two rain delays that totaled two hours and eight minutes.

 

Because he hasn't thrown since that 73-pitch outing, Johnson will be skipped over for his normal turn in the rotation on Monday.

 

The Marlins are turning to veteran Brian Moehler (7-8, 6.12 ERA) to make the start, the first of four games with the Mets at Shea Stadium.

 

Johnson will play catch on Sunday, and if that goes well, he will throw off the mound on Monday. But he isn't projected to start again until the Marlins face the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, Sept. 23.

 

At 12-7 with a 3.10 ERA, Johnson is a strong candidate to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award. He was leading the Major Leagues in ERA for a while, but now he's fourth in the NL in that category.

 

"He's getting better, but we're not going to push him," pitching coach Rick Kranitz said.

 

In a season of firsts for many of the team's rookies, Johnson got a crash course in how to deal with inclement conditions in that Tuesday start against the Mets.

 

Johnson walked Carlos Delgado and threw one way high to David Wright in the second inning as heavy rains fell. The game was then held up for one hour and 22 minutes. He ended up pitching five scoreless innings, giving up three hits.

 

For the first time in his big-league career, Johnson had to adapt to waiting out the weather while remaining warmed up.

 

Shortly into the delay, Dontrelle Willis went up to Johnson and suggested the rookie play some catch about 20 minutes into the stoppage.

 

For the season, Johnson has compiled 157 innings in 31 games with 24 starts.

 

"It's tough," the 6-foot-7 right-hander said. "It's smart [to skip a turn], but it's also really tough. I really don't want to [be held back], but in the long run it's smarter. If I could pitch, I would, I'd love to."

 

As of now, it appears Johnson will have two more starts in the regular season: Next Saturday and Sept. 29 at home, also against the Phillies. Depending on where the Marlins are in the standings, with an off-day on Sept. 25, it is likely there will be a shuffling of the rotation.

 

 

at least williams is starting.

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Its usually the first 2 innings where Moehler is worser then a pitching machine. If he survive those 2 innings, we got hope.

 

depend on what type of pitching machine your talking about :mischief . I was looking at this one (I want to get a batting cage in my backyard) and it could throw up to 105 mph, it threw every pitch:knuckleballs, curves, screwballs, everything. I can't imagine trying to hit a 100 mph knuckleballs.

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Not really suprising this happened after having to pitch through two rain delays that amounted to over two hours, but it is still very disappointing. In hindsight, with Tank blowing the game, it would have been better to bring in someone like Mitre, Moehler, Pinto or Petit after the second rain delay. Hopefully JJ will come back strong.

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