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Marlins’ Johnson on DL with shoulder inflammation
MIAMI (AP) - Once Josh Johnson fessed up that his throwing shoulder hurt, he felt better.
Although Johnson is tied for the major league lead with a 1.64 ERA, the back of his shoulder has bothered him all season. He didn’t tell the Marlins about the extent of the soreness and stiffness until Thursday after a bullpen session.
“It took everything I had to go and say something,” he said. “Once I did, it was something lifted off my shoulders. Let’s get it right and get it back to feeling like it did at the beginning of the season.”
The move is retroactive to Tuesday, meaning Johnson might only miss two starts. The Marlins hope he’ll be able to pitch the first day he’s eligible to come off the DL, which would be June 1 at Arizona.
Johnson’s not sure he’ll hit that target date.
“I’m hoping,” he said. “You never know with this kind of stuff. You’ve got to get all the inflammation out of there. From there it should be fine.”
“He’s impossible to replace,” Buente said. “I’ll just go out and be the pitcher I’ve been up to this point.”
Buente was converted to a starter this season at New Orleans, where he went 3-0 with a 1.94 ERA in 10 games, including five starts.
Because of poor run support, Johnson is only 3-1 in nine starts, but opponents are batting .185 against him, lowest in the NL. Last year Johnson went 11-6, made the All-Star team for the second consecutive time and led the NL with an ERA of 2.30.
“People might think I’m nuts, but I really would have liked to see him pitch Sunday,” Maddon said. “I like the idea of facing the best. You see how you stack up. Hopefully we’ll get him next time.”
The DL stint is the first for Johnson since he underwent reconstructive elbow surgery in 2008, but he was shut out down for the final three weeks of last season because of an ailing back and shoulder.
His current shoulder discomfort is less severe than last season, he said.
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