Johnson boosts pitching arsenal as he joins Toronto
Dunedin, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Josh Johnson will join the Toronto Blue Jays with an improved arsenal including a polished curveball.
The right-hander used to overpower opposing batters until he struggled to regain its previous speed last year, which prompted a change in the way he approached hitters.
Fangraphs revealed that his 95 mph average in 2009 dipped to 92 mph last year after suffering a shoulder injury. The hope is that he will regain full strength this year.
“Sometimes I could get by with just throwing, blowing it by guys. Now I locate a lot better or slow him down to get the ball by him and miss bats,” quipped Johnson, went 8-14 with a 3.81 ERA in 31 starts.
He had a curveball when he was drafted by Miami in 2004, but the pitch was scrapped since the organization wanted him to focus on making the slider a lethal weapon.
Johnson experimented on regaining a curveball during Spring Training of 2012. It was inconsistent until about a third of the way through the season, according to Johnson.
A two-time All-Star and 2010 National League leader in ERA, he will be Toronto’s No. 4 starter.
“We’re counting on him, we need him,” manager John Gibbons said of his 6-foot-7 hurler. “He’s one of the top two or three pitchers in the game, reputation and what he accomplished.”