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Josh Johnson may be lost for season


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JUPITER - Marlins starting pitcher Josh Johnson might miss at least the first month of the season and could be lost for the year because of possible nerve damage in his right arm, sources said Wednesday.

 

Johnson was scheduled to have an MRI Wednesday because of lingering pain that has prevented him from throwing at full speed since September.

 

The preliminary diagnosis is a swollen ulnar nerve. Johnson said he was told by the team's medical staff that the ailment could be similar to the nerve damage that forced Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny out for two months of the 2004 season after he was traded from Florida.

 

"It's been very frustrating,'' Johnson said. "I come in here every day - ?Am I going to throw? If not, what is it? What's going on?' It feels pretty good but we'll rub on it a little bit and it'll feel sore.'' Johnson, who'd been penciled in as the No. 2 starter, finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting after going 12-7 with a 3.10 ERA last season.

 

But his arm troubles began Sept. 12 when he was lifted after five shutout innings against the New York Mets at Dolphin Stadium. In that game, he sat through an 82-minute rain delay before returning to the mound.

 

At the time, team officials were angry at then-manager Joe Girardi for bringing Johnson back into the game, a decision that factored into the team firing Girardi a day after the season ended.

 

On Jan. 19, after he arrived in Jupiter to get a head start on his preparations, he felt discomfort in his biceps/triceps area during a throwing session on flat ground.

 

He was examined in Alabama on Jan. 31 by Dr. James Andrews, the renowned orthopedic surgeon, but an MRI revealed no structural damage.

 

"I am open-minded,'' Johnson said. "I guess it could be anything. As soon as they find out what it is, it'll be easier to treat. I hear that if it's a nerve, it's a little bit tougher.'' As of now, the first four starters will be left-handers Dontrelle Willis and Scott Olsen and right-handers Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco. Sanchez, who will make his first Grapefruit League start on Saturday, has been bothered by shin splints in both legs. He had an MRI on his shoulder in January, but he said his arm feels fine.

 

If Johnson is out for an extended period of time, the Marlins could bring up prospects such as Gaby Hernandez or Chris Volstad earlier than the organization had planned - but only if those pitchers show the necessary progress. Hernandez should start the season in Class AA Carolina and Volstad at high-Class A Jupiter.

 

"We like the guys to have Double-A experience here. We feel that's our launching pad,'' General Manager Admin Beinfest said. "If you look at our history, you can tell most of our guys are coming from Double-A to the big leagues. They're not coming from (low Class A) Greensboro or Jupiter." For now, the Marlins will use spring training to decide on a fifth starter in their camp.

 

"They know. They're not dumb. They know what's going on, and J.J. might be a question," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "They know there is an opening.'' Three candidates pitched in Thursday's game against Baltimore with mixed results. Right-hander Wes Obermueller started the game and allowed two runs in two innings. Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit allowed three runs in two innings. Left-hander Chris George gave up an unearned run on one hit in in one inning.

 

Right-hander Sergio Mitre, another candidate, could make his Grapefruit League debut next Friday with an inning of work.

 

Mitre opened the 2006 season in the starting rotation but left his seventh start May 12 after throwing three pitches, the first sign of shoulder problems that would bother him all season.

 

He didn't return until Aug. 10 when he made the first of eight relief appearances that month before being shut down.

 

"I am very eager to get out there, but at the same time I understand a little bit better about what I have to do, so there's no rush,'' Mitre said.

 

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/marlins/conte...301marlins.html

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Is this something that goes back to the rain delay or is this something completely different?

 

Yeah thats pretty much when all of this started. He was pretty much shut down after that start I believe and hasn't been pain free since.

 

My question is that if Dime came back from this after two months, and it ends up being the same problem, we are we looking at a possible may be lost for the season?

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Just so everyone here knows, Oliver Perez pitched the same rain delay game and he started a game yesterday in St. Lucie.

 

So ENOUGH with the Girardi talk. Ever think that he's a big guy making a very unnatural motion with his arm and it was just a matter of time before something went wrong? Especially since we're talking about nerve damage.

 

He's exhibit C behind the A and B of Beckett and Burnett as to why it's sometimes a house of cards fallacy to create a sole strength of organizational pitching and completely neglect every other aspect of the game.

 

/vent.

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Guest markotsay7

Just so everyone here knows, Oliver Perez pitched the same rain delay game and he started a game yesterday in St. Lucie.

 

So ENOUGH with the Girardi talk. Ever think that he's a big guy making a very unnatural motion with his arm and it was just a matter of time before something went wrong? Especially since we're talking about nerve damage.

 

He's exhibit C behind the A and B of Beckett and Burnett as to why it's sometimes a house of cards fallacy to create a sole strength of organizational pitching and completely neglect every other aspect of the game.

 

/vent.

Yes, he is exhibit C. Beckett and Burnett were driven into the ground by McKeon. JJ was driven into the ground by Girardi. It is NOT purely coincidental that he comes back after a rain delay like that and THAT'S when his body says to him "Hey, you're a big guy making a very unnatural motion with your arm, I'm going to get hurt now!"

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Just so everyone here knows, Oliver Perez pitched the same rain delay game and he started a game yesterday in St. Lucie.

 

So ENOUGH with the Girardi talk. Ever think that he's a big guy making a very unnatural motion with his arm and it was just a matter of time before something went wrong? Especially since we're talking about nerve damage.

 

He's exhibit C behind the A and B of Beckett and Burnett as to why it's sometimes a house of cards fallacy to create a sole strength of organizational pitching and completely neglect every other aspect of the game.

 

/vent.

 

Well said. All you have to do is look at a still photo of a pitcher's arm just before his release... that sh*t just looks nasty. There's a particular pitcure of Beckett from '03 that makes you wonder how guys like Clemens last so long.

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So, it sounds like alot of people are blaming the rainout game for this injury. What part of that game was it, that exactly caused the injury? I realize that he had been out there throwing, and the delay came, and he sat for awhile, and then was asked to get back up and throw again. Correct? I don't see exactly what it is about that, that would make it "dangerous" to a pitcher. These are professional athletes who have been building their arm strength, and grooming their arms to undergo this type of "strain" for their entire careers. Maybe he just didn't get loosened up enough after the delay again. Should we blame that on Girardi?

 

I know calling your pitcher back to the mound after a rain delay is rarely done in the major leagues, but is it really that much to ask of a professional pitcher to warm up, throw hard, cool down, warm up, and throw hard again? Think of it from a relief pitcher's perspective. He gets up when the phone rings in the bullpen, starts throwing like crazy to loosen up his arm, only to find out that the manager's going with the lefty warming up beside him. So, he sits back down for another inning or two, until the phone rings again, at what time he hops back up and starts throwing again.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think that we can put so much blame on Girardi. It was moreso just a case of bad luck, and possibly a lack of preparation on JJ's part.

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Guest Juanky

I know calling your pitcher back to the mound after a rain delay is rarely done in the major leagues, but is it really that much to ask of a professional pitcher to warm up, throw hard, cool down, warm up, and throw hard again? Think of it from a relief pitcher's perspective. He gets up when the phone rings in the bullpen, starts throwing like crazy to loosen up his arm, only to find out that the manager's going with the lefty warming up beside him. So, he sits back down for another inning or two, until the phone rings again, at what time he hops back up and starts throwing again.

I'm not as quick to pinpoint that one day as being the reason JJ is failing, and I also don't think that it's all Girardi's fault (just look at the long list of pitcher injuries we've had). However, this logic is faulty. Just because someone of a completely different position does something one way doesn't mean another can.

 

Starting pitchers are trained to warm up a certain way just like relievers are trained a separate way. This isn't just a matter of will power; it's muscle memory. It's similar to just picking up a short stop, throwing him in RF, and saying he should be able to do the same thing because his goal is still the same - to catch the ball.

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Just so everyone here knows, Oliver Perez pitched the same rain delay game and he started a game yesterday in St. Lucie.

 

So ENOUGH with the Girardi talk. Ever think that he's a big guy making a very unnatural motion with his arm and it was just a matter of time before something went wrong? Especially since we're talking about nerve damage.

 

He's exhibit C behind the A and B of Beckett and Burnett as to why it's sometimes a house of cards fallacy to create a sole strength of organizational pitching and completely neglect every other aspect of the game.

 

/vent.

Yes, he is exhibit C. Beckett and Burnett were driven into the ground by McKeon. JJ was driven into the ground by Girardi. It is NOT purely coincidental that he comes back after a rain delay like that and THAT'S when his body says to him "Hey, you're a big guy making a very unnatural motion with your arm, I'm going to get hurt now!"

 

AJ had TJ before Jack...I guess his tentacles reach back in time, too?

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I know calling your pitcher back to the mound after a rain delay is rarely done in the major leagues, but is it really that much to ask of a professional pitcher to warm up, throw hard, cool down, warm up, and throw hard again? Think of it from a relief pitcher's perspective. He gets up when the phone rings in the bullpen, starts throwing like crazy to loosen up his arm, only to find out that the manager's going with the lefty warming up beside him. So, he sits back down for another inning or two, until the phone rings again, at what time he hops back up and starts throwing again.

I'm not as quick to pinpoint that one day as being the reason JJ is failing, and I also don't think that it's all Girardi's fault (just look at the long list of pitcher injuries we've had). However, this logic is faulty. Just because someone of a completely different position does something one way doesn't mean another can.

 

Starting pitchers are trained to warm up a certain way just like relievers are trained a separate way. This isn't just a matter of will power; it's muscle memory. It's similar to just picking up a short stop, throwing him in RF, and saying he should be able to do the same thing because his goal is still the same - to catch the ball.

 

 

So what you're saying is that it depends on the individual pitcher? In other words, if you know your pitcher well you might know what is appropriate and what isn't?

 

From my perspective, there was nothing to be gained from having JJ go out there again after the rain delay. Just to avoid any risk of injury, just shut him down and bring someone else in.

 

Girardi made a mistake by simply taking a risk with a young pitcher. This may or may not have caused JJ's injury, but it would have been better to sit him.

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I know calling your pitcher back to the mound after a rain delay is rarely done in the major leagues, but is it really that much to ask of a professional pitcher to warm up, throw hard, cool down, warm up, and throw hard again? Think of it from a relief pitcher's perspective. He gets up when the phone rings in the bullpen, starts throwing like crazy to loosen up his arm, only to find out that the manager's going with the lefty warming up beside him. So, he sits back down for another inning or two, until the phone rings again, at what time he hops back up and starts throwing again.

I'm not as quick to pinpoint that one day as being the reason JJ is failing, and I also don't think that it's all Girardi's fault (just look at the long list of pitcher injuries we've had). However, this logic is faulty. Just because someone of a completely different position does something one way doesn't mean another can.

 

Starting pitchers are trained to warm up a certain way just like relievers are trained a separate way. This isn't just a matter of will power; it's muscle memory. It's similar to just picking up a short stop, throwing him in RF, and saying he should be able to do the same thing because his goal is still the same - to catch the ball.

 

 

So what you're saying is that it depends on the individual pitcher? In other words, if you know your pitcher well you might know what is appropriate and what isn't?

 

From my perspective, there was nothing to be gained from having JJ go out there again after the rain delay. Just to avoid any risk of injury, just shut him down and bring someone else in.

 

Girardi made a mistake by simply taking a risk with a young pitcher. This may or may not have caused JJ's injury, but it would have been better to sit him.

 

And considering it's never-damage, Girardi could have sat him and we'd still be sitting here.

 

Take it from me, as someone who's gone through nerve-damage resulting in severe atrophy of shoulder muscles, it's like a shark in there (to take an expression from AJ). You're either pre disposed to it, or something has to make direct contact with the nerve to set it off to a debilitating degree.

 

JJ's an extremely tall guy, it's not a stretch to say that his size could put pressure on the nerves through stretching or muscle build up in the area. Unless you (and this is a general you) want to tell me that Girardi went in there and poked around and pulled JJ's nerve, it's far-fetched to say he's the sole reason for JJ's situation right now.

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Guest markotsay7

You're right, I had blocked Jeff Torborg out of my memory. He's the one that ruined AJ, and now I'm miserable because I remembered his existence.

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