THE ANONYMOUS ACE
Because He Plays for the Marlins, Josh Johnson is Practically Unrecognizable.
He's Also Nearly Unhittable.
Well, that's one explanation for Johnson near-anonymity. Here's another: Johnson has been around for six seasons, and won 48 games. His wins in those six seasons: 12-0-7-15-11-3. Can you really blame baseball fans for not becoming super-familiar with Johnson's talents?
That last number, of course, represents Johnson's 2011. Sporting News devoted that valuable cover real-estate to a pitcher with three wins in late May. Granted, Johnson deserved a better fate; at the time, he had an incredible 1.64 in nine starts and with just decent luck would have won seven or eight games already.
But he's still stuck on three wins, and apparently is going to remain stuck on three wins all season. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro:
For the second straight year, Josh Johnson's season appears to have been cut short due to injury.
The Marlins' ace has been shut down for the rest of the season due to right shoulder inflammation, according to a report by Jon Heyman of SI.com.
The Marlins have not confirmed whether Johnson is done for the season. In fact, they were unaware that Johnson was considered out for the final two months. President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest informed a team spokesman that it was "news to him."
MLB.com reported on Tuesday that this was a pivotal week for Johnson to determine if he had enough time to get ready to pitch before the end of September.
The hope was that Johnson could begin a throwing program later this week or early next, which would have given him a realistic chance to see game action before the end of the season.
Or maybe he'll get to four wins this season. The point is that while Johnson is immensely talented, he has not yet demonstrated a key talent for a baseball pitcher: pitching. Pitching much, anyway. Due to various maladies, Johnson has averaged only 116 innings per season, and not many 116-inning pitchers become household names.
Anonymous because he pitches for the Marlins? Sure. But something tells me that Johnson, if he's ever healthy enough to throw 200 innings and win 20 games, suddenly won't be so anonymous. No matter where he pitches.