Just when it seemed like Josh Johnson was going to make a comeback to his previous form with the San Diego Padres, the 30-year-old starting pitcher ran into a setback with a forearm injury during spring training.

Corey Brock of the MLB.com reported the news Saturday evening:

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times spoke with manager Bud Black about the injury:

Johnson has shown flashes of greatness for San Diego during his time in spring training with the team. With a 3.38 ERA and 13-4 K/BB ratio through four starts, the 6’7″ starter looked like a great pickup for the franchise.

The Padres went out on a limb when they signed Johnson, who was the ace in 2009 and 2010 for the then Florida Marlins and is a two-time All-Star. While his track record when healthy is enticing, his recent injuries made him a risk.

In fact, an injury to his right forearm, which is his pitching arm, costed him much of the 2013 season with the Toronto Blue Jays. After going just 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA with the Jays, Johnson didn’t make a start after Aug. 6 and was officially done for the season on Aug. 27.

Even with his injury history, Joe Lemire of Sports Illustrated said the signing was a smart one by the Padres who were in desperate need of starting pitching:

Given the cost of good starting pitching in today’s market — and Johnson’s tantalizing potential, owing to his 3.06 ERA in more than 730 innings from 2008 through ’12, including an NL-leading 2.30 in 2010 — a contract of $8 million is exceedingly reasonable, even for someone as injury-prone as Johnson.

Since his first full season of 2006, he has thrown fewer than 100 innings as often (four times) as he has thrown more than 150. He logged only 81 1/3 innings with Toronto and didn’t pitch after Aug. 6. He had a bone spur removed from his elbow in early October.

Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com gave his thoughts on the situation for Johnson and the Padres:

But with the latest injury for Johnson, the Padres will have to start the season with him on the Disabled List. With Johnson on the DL for the foreseeable future, Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego provides a look at some of the starters that could step up in his place:

As the season is inching closer for the Padres, a decision will have to be made about who will replace Johnson in the rotation. With a plethora of arms to choose from, the team could go in several directions.

But if the righty can return early on in the season and shake the injury bug that has hampered him throughout the last several seasons, he has a shot at helping the team and revitalizing his career.

As more updates come in about Johnson’s return to San Diego, they will be added to this story.


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