J.J. approaching incentives

When Josh Johnson takes the mound for Florida on Wednesday afternoon at St. Louis, it will mark the All-Star’s 30th start of the season.

Barring anything unforeseen — counting Wednesday — Johnson is slated to make four more starts this season. If he makes them all, he will finish with 33 on the year, which will translate into some more money for the 25-year-old.

As part of his $1.4 million contract for the season, Johnson has incentives of $25,000 for making his 31st and another $25,000 for reaching 33 starts. So he can collect another $50,000 total if he reaches 33.

After Wednesday, Johnson’s 31st start would be one of the double-header games with the Phillies next Tuesday, unless the team switches up the rotation.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez has already said the Marlins aren’t looking to shut down Johnson, even if the team is eliminated from playoff contention.

“We don’t want to pull the plug on him, because we’ve got to get him through those thresholds,” Gonzalez said recently. “We’ve got to keep an eye on those stressful innings.”

The team is being cautious with their franchise-caliber starter.

Johnson had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in 2007, and he combined to throw 154 total innings in 2007-08. This year he is at 188 1/3 innings.

Johnson has not completed as many as seven full innings since he went 7 1/3 in beating the Rockies on Aug. 14. In two September starts, he has thrown five innings each.

— Joe Frisaro


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