Keeping a close eye on JJ

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins are not being overly careful with Josh Johnson, but they definitely will be monitoring their ace.

Johnson is scheduled to pitch the Marlins’ first Grapefruit League game, which is Monday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Because he missed 4 1/2 months with right shoulder inflammation in 2011, the Marlins will not push JJ, not only in Spring Training but in the regular season.

“He will dictate for us what to do,” Guillen said. “What I want him to do is have confidence in us to make sure we know. So he can come to us and say, ‘Listen, I need a day.’ Can I miss a start? I don’t want him to go out there and be a hero and then we don’t use him for the next 20 days. I’d rather lose him for a day, two or three days, than lose him for 21 days. He’s got to dictate. Are we going to monitor him, yes?”

If healthy, Guillen envisions the two-time All-Star having a big year.

“In my mind, I have this man throwing 200 innings and winning 21 games,” the manager said. “That’s in my mind. Is he going to do it?”

One way to get Johnson some rest during the season is to pull him in the mid to late innings if the team has a big lead.

“That’s the way you take a break,” Guillen said. “If we’re up by seven, why should we have this kid throw 110, when he should throw 90? It depends on how he goes.”

Joe Frisaro

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