Josh Johnson isn't going to get his first win in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform on Friday. That's because Johnson, who came to Toronto as part of the mega-trade with the Miami Marlins, has been scratched from his scheduled start against the New York Yankees with tightness in his right triceps muscle.
The Blue Jays described the move as precautionary, and at least for now Johnson has not been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Left-hander Aaron Laffey will come in from the bullpen to make the spot start. Johnson had gotten off to a slow start this season, and while the extent of the injury is unknown, it could help explain some of his issues.
Johnson is 0-1 in four starts, with a 6.86 ERA. Opposing batters are hitting .329 against him. He has a history with injuries, having already undergone Tommy John surgery and missing most of 2011 with a shoulder injury. While this doesn't sound like a reason for long-term worry at the moment, the Blue Jays would be happy just to get some good pitching news in this young season.
Other offseason acquisitions R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle have struggled, with ERAs of 4.66 and 6.35, respectively. Brandon Morrow, a more veteran Blue Jay, also has a 5.27 ERA.
All total, the Blue Jays pitchers have a 4.41 ERA and .266 opposing batting average, both eighth worst in the league. Johnson returning in top form after a short break certainly would help those numbers.