Josh Johnson blames “tall man’s syndrome” for arm injuries

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After months of false starts and setbacks Josh Johnson was finally shut down for the season a few days ago, meaning he ended up missing the final 120 games of the year with a shoulder injury that is still described as merely “inflammation.”

Johnson has a long history of arm problems, limiting one of the most dominant starters in baseball to an average of just 119 innings per season since his brilliant debut in 2006.

And yesterday the 27-year-old Marlins ace told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that “tall man’s syndrome” may be to blame for all the injuries:

It’s a matter of posture and a bunch of stuff that just kind of led up to it. Years and years of being tall, you’re always slouching down and bending over. You’re shoulder’s not in a good place. You start leaning over when you’re throwing. It snowballs.

Johnson apparently got that theory from a therapist and Spencer reports that the 6-foot-7 right-hander is “now paying close attention to his posture, standing straighter to relieve pressure on his scapula and wearing a customized shirt that helps keep his shoulders back.”

My initial reaction is to note that plenty of short pitchers have similarly lengthy injury histories and plenty of tall pitchers are injury free, but at this point Johnson and the Marlins are probably pretty open to ideas about how to keep him off the disabled list.