As mentioned in the game preview for tonight's contest, Miami Marlins starter Josh Johnson will miss his final start of the season tonight against the New York Mets. The Marlins shut down Johnson presumably as a precaution given his large innings jump from last year to this season. Johnson threw only 60 1/3 innings last year due to a shoulder injury that kept him out after just seven starts. Given his season's end, he will finish the 2012 season with 191 1/3 innings. Wade LeBlanc makes the start tonight in Johnson's absence.
The year has not been pleasant for Johnson, who had a poor April that dragged the rest of his numbers down with it. He will end the season with a 3.81 ERA and 3.41 FIP, both numbers that are much higher than his 2009 to 2011 marks. His 20.7 percent strikeout rate is the lowest since his rookie season, and much of that problem may be due to his diminished fastball velocity. We examined how that velocity has affected him, and even when you account for how well he did in regressing to his mean after April, the velocity seemed to play a toll overall on Johnson's effectiveness. Now the Marlins will have a difficult offseason decision to make with Johnson heading into 2013.
Still, 191 1/3 innings for Johnson is the second-highest total he has put up in a single season in his career, as is the 31 starts that he made this season. While this does not prove his absolute health, it is at least a positive sign to be celebrated.