Padres Starter Suffers Another Setback

Josh Johnson left his rehab start early

Pitcher Josh Johnson was on the mound Friday night for his first rehab assignment with the San Diego Padres high Single-A affiliate the Lake Elsinore Storm in hopes of rejoining the big league club after his second Tommy John surgery. He was scheduled to pitch one inning for the Storm during their game in Visalia followed by another inning on Monday.

But Johnson couldn’t record an out before leaving the game. The 31-year old right hander threw four pitches, giving up a single to right field before he called his coaches and trainers to the mound. Following a quick conversation, Johnson left the game heading for the clubhouse.

The San Diego Padres haven’t given any word on why Johnson left early.

Before the 2014 season, the Padres signed Johnson to an $8 million deal. He missed the entire season after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery of his career that April. This season the Padres signed him to an incentive-laden $1 million deal. Setback after setback-including triceps tightness and a nerve issue in his neck-pushed Johnsons first rehab action back to Friday.

When the Padres initially signed Johnson, the plan was for him to be a top of the rotation starter. But after injuries plagued the two-time All Star, they thought moving him to the bullpen may suit him better. Plus after nearly two seasons on the disabled list, the Padres are just trying to get Johnson back on the field since he has not pitched in the major leagues since the summer of 2013.

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