When it rains - it pours. Josh Johnson is now experiencing arm discomfort.
The health of Johnson's right arm is a concern, stemming back to the final month of last season. During a Sept. 12 start against the Mets at Dolphin Stadium, Johnson felt tightness in his right forearm and was lifted after five innings.
The past few weeks he had been long tossing and building toward throwing off the mound in preparation for the start of Spring Training.
Johnson's setback is the second for the young staff in a week.
Last Monday, Anibal Sanchez had an MRI that revealed some shoulder inflammation and tendinitis.
I hope this isn't becoming a precursor for the 2007 season, though it wouldn't be a complete surprise if it were. The young starters were extended last season and the repercussions could be felt this year. If Johnson and Sanchez aren't ready to go at the start of the season, and most likely they won't, it completely nixes the Nolasco as the closer experiment. Luckily, I think either Owens, Lindstorm or Gregg will fit the bill.
The team will be forced into bringing up one or two of the young arms from Triple-A or Double-A, ready or not. It also probably means that any possible trade for a center fielder is off the table. Especially since the Marlins can't spare the arms at the moment.
If the starters arm injuries become a persistent problem throughout the season, it's going to be a long one. Hopefully, that won't happen.