Josh Johnson is feeling good heading into spring training

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Padres starter Josh Johnson has been a Major League regular for eight seasons, but has been able to cross the 100-inning threshold just four times. The right-hander has famously had trouble staying healthy and it was the case last year after coming to the Blue Jays in a mega-trade with the Marlins. He made only 16 starts and posted a 6.20 ERA, suffering from inflammation in his right triceps, a blister on his throwing hand, tendinitis in his left knee, and a forearm strain.

Johnson underwent surgery in October to remove bone spurs in his right elbow. Lately, he has been working out near his home in Nevada and has received good reviews from UNLV head coach Tim Chambers which gave him a boost of confidence as he prepares to head into spring training with the Padres. Via MLB.com’s Corey Brock:

“He walked up to me and said, ‘I can see a difference in just you playing catch’ at the 75 feet or what it was at the time,” Johnson said. “That was huge. I’ve felt good but then to have someone else say I can see a difference, can see the extension … that was nice.”

Johnson also talked about how the elbow injury snuck up on him:

“Spring Training [in 2013], [the elbow] felt good, but there was something in there that wasn’t bothering me yet,” Johnson said. “We got to April and it started creeping in. You could tell that something wasn’t quite there. I couldn’t get to that extension.”

The Padres signed Johnson to a one-year, $8 million deal, hoping to get out of him what the Blue Jays could not — a full healthy and productive season. His fastball averaged 95 MPH as recently as 2010, but it fell below 93 MPH over the past two seasons. Additionally, he’s induced fewer ground balls and become more homer-prone, but a move to the spacious confines of Petco Park should help in that regard.

Dave Martinez undergoes cardiac catheterization, return date unknown

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Nationals manager Dave Martinez left the team in the sixth inning of Sunday’s 7-0 win over the Braves to go to the hospital as a precautionary measure, Todd Dybas of NBC Sports Washington reported. Bench coach Chip Hale took over as manager for the remainder of the game.

Per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post, GM Mike Rizzo said Martinez felt chest pains and underwent a cardiac catheterization today. The procedure assesses the heart’s condition. The team doesn’t know yet when Martinez will return.

With Hale continuing to fill in as manager, Tim Bogar will act as the bench coach in place of Hale and Joe Dillon will coach first base in place of Bogar.

The Nationals enter play Monday leading the first NL Wild Card by 1.5 games over the Cubs. The Nationals open up a six-game road trip with three games against the Cardinals starting Monday night. Stephen Strasburg will oppose Dakota Hudson.