2:06pm: Johnson will indeed attempt another comeback, agent Matt Sosnick tells ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitlonger). The veteran righty has known of the tear for about ten weeks, but attempted to pitch through it before deciding to have the procedure. Sosnick says that his client will also look into “cutting-edge” medical developments that could prove beneficial in addition to the TJ procedure.
10:19am: Padres righty Josh Johnson will go under the knife for his third Tommy John procedure, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. He will almost certainly miss the entirety of the 2016 season after having the surgery some time next week.
Johnson most recently had a UCL replacement in April of 2014. He had signed a one-year, $8MM deal with San Diego prior to that season, but never threw a major league pitch before succumbing to the surgery. The Friars brought him back on an incentive-laden, one-year, $1MM pact, but the 31-year-old was never quite able to make it back to MLB action.
The Padres’ investment has obviously not panned out as hoped, but it was a relatively meager sum to risk on the pitcher they hoped would re-emerge. Johnson had a rough 2013 season with the Blue Jays, allowing 56 earned runs in just 81 1/3 frames, but carried a career-best 9.2 K/9 rate and drew solid reviews from some ERA estimators.
While he’d had injuries before that point, Johnson also had racked up nearly a thousand innings of 3.15 ERA pitching heading into his short and disappointing tenure in Toronto. At times, he’s been among the very best pitchers in the game.
Given that he’s undergoing the procedure, it certainly seems that Johnson will give it at least one more shot. In all likelihood, he won’t even have a chance at throwing competitively until he has turned 33.