Saturday, September 06, 2008

Randy Johnson Must Wait Until 2009 to Reach 300

The decision to rest Diamondbacks hurler Randy Johnson virtually prevents him for reaching 300 regular season, career wins before next year, though he still has a shot at 30 starts this season.

Having given up five runs on four homers and six hits to the Cardinals before being knocked out in the fourth inning in his last outing, Johnson continued to feel worrisome shoulder discomfort when he threw on the side in Los Angeles Saturday morning.

Due to fatigue, he had been experiencing soreness for a week, a condition conspicuous to observers when they watched Johnson throw.

Because the team has elected to rest the 6-foot-10 lefty for one or two starts -- targeting him to pitch just four more games before the end of the season -- Johnson cannot be expected to return any sooner than when the Diamondbacks play the Reds next weekend. Therefore, he cannot possibly reach more than 298 regular season, career wins this season, and likely will have fewer.

Johnson -- who will observe his 45th birthday this week -- has 294 career victories.

Rookie Max Scherzer will take Johnson's spot in the rotation for now.

The good news is that the future Hall-of-Famer has been successfully recovering from far more serious trauma to his back and knee, chalking up 10 wins against nine losses with a 4.21 ERA so far this year, well exceeding the outlook many gave him last spring.