Randy Johnson should not be so available

Andy Behrens
May 6, 2008

Randy Johnson was born for one purpose: to scare the (expletive) out of crows to strike out Major League hitters.

The 44-year-old lefty has 4,638 career Ks. Over the past two years, despite the back issues, Johnson has fanned 94 in 77.1 innings. He's struck out at least six batters in three of his four starts this season.

Yet after last Wednesday's four-inning, six-run performance, Johnson has been a very popular drop. Even yesterday, immediately before a scheduled start, he was cut by 896 Yahoo! owners. As of 12:45 pm PT on Tuesday, he'd been dropped in another 962 leagues. His ownership percentage has fallen to 73.7.

That's too low. RJ struggled with location in his last outing -- a fat first-inning slider was crushed by Carlos Lee -- but his velocity has been just fine (91-93 mph). Philadelphia is tonight's opponent, and they're not the most forgiving lineup. But they do offer Ks, and as the game preview points out...

Johnson may find the Phillies more to his liking. He’s 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA against them in his Diamondbacks career.

He was 1-0 against them in two starts last season, allowing three runs in 12 innings, striking out 15, walking one, and giving up only five hits. This might not be exactly the same Randy Johnson, but he still has the stuff (and the run support) to be a useful fantasy SP.

It's too early to dump him for, say, Garrett Olson (10,608 adds today). That was not exactly the point of last night's Closing Time.