Saturday, September 06, 2008

Side Session Indicates Randy Johnson's Soreness

Diamondbacks hurler Randy Johnson -- 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 -- continued to feel worrisome shoulder discomfort when he threw on the side in Los Angeles Saturday morning.

He had been experiencing pain for a week. Observers said Johnson's uneasiness was obvious when he threw.

Attributing the pain to fatigue, the team has elected to rest the 6-foot-10 lefty for one or two starts before targeting him to pitch four more games before the end of the season. Therefore, Johnson cannot be expected to return any sooner than when the Diamondbacks play the Reds next weekend.

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

The good news is that the 44-year-old 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.

He still has a shot at 30 starts by season's end, easily surpassing the outlook many gave him last spring, but now must wait until 2008 before before being able to reach the 300-win plateau. He has 294.