Johnson Getting Back to Major League Form

Having already experienced success with the Florida Marlins, Josh Johnson has been working hard in rehab to get back healthy. He has been on the Disabled List since July 5th with an irritated ulnar nerve in his right arm. He has since been pitching for the Carolina Mudcats to get his timing and strength back for his return to the Major Leagues.

As a major leaguer, Johnson experienced success in his rookie season. He finished the 2006 year with a 12-7 record, and a 3.10 ERA. He finished 4th in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. His ERA was the 3rd lowest in the National League. In 157 innings pitched, he struck out 133 batters.

In a game against the Chattanooga Lookouts, he was able to showcase his major league level pitches. He pitched 4 and 2/3 innings, and struck out an astounding seven batters. He only gave up one run and four hits.

"Today, I just wanted to throw strikes. Through all these rehab starts, I don't want to walk anybody," Josh Johnson said. "I was kind of working on a few things, like my mechanics. I wanted to see how my body reacted. I felt really good coming up to today."

Johnson, who stands at 6'7" and weighs 230 lbs., was concentrating on getting his timing down. After being on the DL, he wants to work on getting back to his old rhythm.

"I want to work on some of my timing. My timing is something that should be there, but it kind of went away for awhile. It will come back, it's no big deal," he explains.

Johnson was able to strike batters out and keep hitters off balance throughout his starting effort with the Mudcats. Some of the pitches that were working well were the fastball and the curveball.

"My curve was a lot better tonight," he admitted. "It was tough trying to get the ball over towards the first base side. The slider was decent tonight, it felt pretty good."

The 4th rounder from Jenks High School in Oklahoma claims he is just concentrating on helping the team in any way possible. He knows that his role is to give the team a good chance to win.

"I'm just trying to concentrate on winning," he said. "That's what my job is, and that's what I get paid to do. I ‘m going to go out there and do whatever it takes, and if we score eight runs then I'm trying to give up less than seven. I'm just trying to go out there and help these guys win some ball games."

He has been working hard on getting back to his major league form during his stint with the Mudcats. His plan is to get back with the Marlins, and help them out for the playoff chase.

"I think I'm ready for the next level. I just got to sort some things out with a bullpen, and then I should be ready to go," Johnson said. "We are trying to make the playoffs and put some pressure on teams."

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