Another sad chapter in Josh Johnson’s injury wrecked career, as the right-hander will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery without ever throwing a regular season pitch for the Padres.
Johnson signed a one-year, $8 million deal with San Diego in the hopes of staying healthy and building up his value in the majors’ most pitcher-friendly environment, but now he’s headed for a second Tommy John surgery after going under the knife the first time in 2007.
When healthy Johnson has always been one of the best starters in baseball, posting a 3.15 ERA in 917 innings for the Marlins from 2005-2012, but he’s topped 100 innings just three times in nine full seasons and was limited to 81 poor innings for the Blue Jays last year.
Thanks to language in the contract specifically designed to kick in if he got hurt San Diego holds a $4 million team option on Johnson for 2015, which could present an interesting decision depending on how well his rehab has progressed by the end of the season. At age 30 there’s still plenty of time for Johnson to resurrect his career, but it’s a damn shame.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.