JJ shut down for season

In his heart, Josh Johnson wants to be on the mound. The reality is a mid back strain is preventing him.

So rather than risk further injury, Johnson has been shut down by the Marlins for the remainder of the season.

An All-Star for the second straight year, Johnson finishes his season with an 11-6 record and 2.30 ERA in 28 starts.

“It’s the smart thing to do. It’s not fun being on the sideline,” Johnson said on Monday. “I’ve been on this side, and pretty much worse than this. I don’t want to be on this side, and not be pitching for this team.”

The ailment worse was an elbow injury that required Tommy John ligament surgery in 2007.

Johnson last pitched on Sept. 4 against the Braves, and he finished with a loss, giving up two runs over six innings. Even with a back ailment, he struck out 12 that day.

Johnson also has been bothered by right shoulder inflammation. But the shoulder is improving, and it is his back that has been the bigger issue.

The Marlins were hoping Johnson would be able to throw a bullpen session either on Saturday or Sunday when the team was in Washington. However, his back was hurting and he wasn’t close to pitching either day.

Although Johnson isn’t using the back as an excuse, observes on the team said it was bothering him for about five or six starts before he was shut down.

– Joe Frisaro

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