Johnson helps turn around Jays' fortunes 

June, 19, 2013
The Toronto Blue Jays are turning their disappointing season around, and certainly the starting pitching has been a key factor in their seven-game winning streak. On Monday, right-hander Josh Johnson, unreliable for health and performance in 2013 after an average 2012, delivered his top outing of the season with 7 1/3 shutout innings and his first double-digit strikeout game since his final start of 2010. On Tuesday, mostly unknown right-hander Esmil Rogers continued his ridiculous streak, beating the Colorado Rockies with 6 2/3 strong innings. Rogers has permitted four earned runs over 30 1/3 innings since May 12 for a cool 1.18 ERA. If only we could get that kind of consistency from R.A. Dickey!
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Abelimages/Getty Images Josh Johnson is a potentially great buy-low or waiver-wire option right now.

It’s understandable that many fantasy owners are tired of waiting for Johnson to thrive, but the former Miami Marlins ace showed Monday what the fuss is potentially all about. Many fantasy owners have allowed either considerable damage to team ERA and WHIP to continue or just been unfortunate, and at this point those owners really shouldn’t be adding the likes of Jeff Locke, Mike Leake and Scott Feldman, where there is, sorry to burst bubbles, obvious regression in ERA and WHIP pending. Rather, it’s time to take chances on high-ERA options with upside. Johnson certainly fits that mold.

Originally an 11th-round choice in ESPN live drafts, Johnson is a free agent in more leagues than he’s owned, which isn’t surprising. Even now, after his ERA dropped from 5.40 to 4.38 Monday, it’s a bit of a hard sell for some. Then again, Johnson was awesome in 2010 and 2011. In April 2011, he delivered a 0.88 ERA over six starts, and it was all legit. Blessed with a mid-90s fastball he spots with a downhill plane since he’s an imposing 6-foot-7, a hard slider and in the past two seasons a developing curveball, Johnson can overpower hitters. On Monday, Johnson finally looked like an ace, and his June ERA over three outings is 1.82.