The Toronto Blue Jays received a mixed blessing on Tuesday. The club learned that right-hander Josh Johnson will not pitch again in 2013, but also that he doesn't need surgery on his strained right forearm, report Gregor Chisholm and Evan Peaslee of MLB.com.
Johnson, who has not pitched since Aug. 6, visited with specialist Dr. James Andrews this week for a second opinion. Dr. Andrews confirmed the team's initial diagnosis (forearm strain) and told Johnson that surgery was unnecessary, but also determined that the right-hander should not throw for at least a few weeks -- making a September return impossible.
The doctor's mandate puts the finishing touches on what has been an incredibly disappointing season for Johnson. In addition to his recent forearm woes, Johnson also missed a fair chunk of the year with inflammation in his triceps, which may have contributed to his persistent drop in velocity this season. The 29-year-old right-hander ends his injury-plagued year with a 6.20 earned-run average over 16 starts, not exactly the kind of performance one hopes for when heading into free agency.
There's still a chance that the Blue Jays will make a qualifying offer to Johnson this fall, but it's more likely that he'll end up elsewhere on a less lucrative one-year deal. Johnson still boasts a solid 3.40 ERA in parts of nine big-league seasons, but his 4.52 ERA over 272⅔ innings the last two years is far less appealing.