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jokergreen Jun 27 '19
PEORIA, Ariz. Wayne Chrebet Jersey . -- Asked how miserable he was in a 2013 season in Toronto filled with arm pain and hard-hit balls, Josh Johnson chuckled and shook his head. "Miserable might be an understatement," Johnson said Friday. "It was like two innings and all of a sudden eight runs are on the board. I had no idea what was going on. It was crazy." The right-hander was able to crack a smile in part because he has a surgically repaired elbow and a fresh start with the San Diego Padres, a combination he hopes will help him return to the form that included two All-Star selections and a National League-best 2.30 ERA with the Marlins in 2010. "Before he got hurt, to me, he was the most dominating pitcher in the National League and probably in the major leagues," said Joaquin Benoit, another of the Padres off-season pitching acquisitions. "It will be really good if hes healthy. Hes going to be a really big piece for our rotation." Thats the plan for the normally thrifty Padres, who opened spring training Friday with the first workout for pitchers and catchers sporting a new look and a higher payroll. The Padres signed Benoit away from Detroit with a two-year, $15.5 million deal to be their setup man, and inked Johnson to a one-year, $8 million deal after his terrible season with the Blue Jays in hopes he can be an anchor in their rotation. "Physically, mentally hes in a good spot," manager Bud Black said of Johnson. That was not the case last year, or the past few seasons. After going a combined 26-11 with 377 strikeouts for the Marlins in 2009-10, he had his season cut short a year later with shoulder trouble. He went just 8-14 with a 3.81 ERA in 2012 before he was traded to the Blue Jays after the season. The 6-foot-7 Johnson said he struggled with his "extension" in Toronto because of elbow problems. It led to command issues, and getting balls up in the strike zone in hitter-friendly Rogers Centre proved costly. Johnson went 2-8 with a 6.20 ERA and allowed 15 home runs in 16 starts as the Blue Jays were one of the more disappointing teams in baseball. After undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in his right elbow Oct. 1, the Blue Jays decided not to give him a qualifying offer. Johnson then told his agent he wanted to play for San Diego or San Francisco, so he could be closer to his Las Vegas home. Moving to a pitcher-friendly park wouldnt hurt, either. Knowing hed likely have to accept a one-year deal, he took the Padres offer, taking a pay cut from the four-year, $39 million deal he signed with the Marlins. Now he joins a franchise looking to rebound from consecutive 76-86 seasons, with free agency looming again next off-season. "I want to get to the playoffs. I want to be in that atmosphere, to be throwing in October," said Johnson, who turned 30 last month. "If you go out there and you perform, the moneys going to be there." Johnson, who has thrown off a mound five times since the surgery, threw 35 pitches in a bullpen session with catcher Yasmani Grandal on Friday morning without problems. Black said hell throw again on Sunday and that hes on the same schedule as the rest of the healthy starters. "The short time Ive been around him, I love his mindset, I love his makeup, his mentality, his aggressiveness," catcher Nick Hundley said. "I think his body of work kind of speaks for itself. Hes a multiple-time All-Star. He led the league in ERA. I dont think you luck into those types of things. "Were excited to have him. Now hopefully he stays healthy and he can be out there a lot for us." NOTES: Black said they "probably wont" carry three catchers, signalling its an important camp for Grandal, who is recovering from knee surgery. . Black indicated RHP Casey Kelly is "three weeks, four weeks behind" the rest of the staff as he recovers from elbow reconstruction surgery. . The only player missing was LHP Alex Torres, whos dealing with a visa issue in Venezuela and is expected next week. . A Padres spokesman said theyre close to selling out the opener March 30 against the Dodgers. Wesley Walker Jersey . -- Andy Granatelli, the former CEO of STP motor oil company who made a mark on motorsports as a car owner, innovator and entrepreneur, has died. Joe Namath Jersey .Y. - Major League Soccer is prepared to start its season this weekend even if there isnt a labour deal with its referees and other on-field officials.CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Marcus Mariota and No. 2 Oregon wasted no time showing Virginia all that speed the Ducks bring is more than just talk. Mariota ran 71 yards for a touchdown on the Ducks sixth play from scrimmage, turning a third-and-5 that had the crowd jacked up for a defensive stop into a demoralizing introduction into what Oregon football is all about. "They came out in a man-free look and they all kind of ran with their guy and I just kind of hit it up the middle," Mariota said of the play, on which he flared five receivers out, then ran a draw. He was virtually untouched on the play. "The guys did a good job blocking and the receivers did a good job blocking downfield," he said. Mariota finished with 122 yards on four carries, and threw two touchdown passes. DeAnthony Thomas added three touchdown runs, and the Ducks piled up 557 yards of offence in their first trip to Charlottesville on the way to a 59-10 victory that looked frighteningly easy. Still, it left first-year head coach Mark Helfrich with plenty to complain about, namely 11 penalties for 119 yards. "Obviously we will clean that up," Helfrich said. The offence, which built a 21-0 lead in the first 10:32, felt like it left a lot on the field, too. "I thought we did all right," Mariota said. "There were some times that we slowed ourselves down with penalties and bad throws. If everything starts to click for us, like those first three drives, I think things will get rolling and well be pretty good." Thomas ran for 124 yards on just 11 carries, and the Ducks (2-0), who gained a school-record 772 yards last week in beating Nicholls State, looked capable of doing it again against a Virginia defence that hoped to keep the Cavaliers in the game. Oregons up-tempo offence did all its damage while possessing the ball for just 21:25. As always, Thomas said, their opponents faces told the story. "Thats the funny part. For the first couple plays, theyre out there talking, and as the game goes by, guys are just slowing down and you can see by their body language and stuff, and thats when we know we got em," the fleet junior said. Virginia (1-1) came into the game riding a high after a comeback victory last week against BYU, the first since coach Mike London hired new offensive, defensive and special teams co-ordinators. Defensive co-ordinator Jon Tenutas unit, especially, seemed confident it would be able to slow the Ducks down, but Mariota provided a very early look at what it wwas up against. Trevon Wesco Jersey. "We knew they are fast and athletic," London said. "We tried to practice the pace, but its hard to practice for that type of athleticism that they have. It is always a challenge when you face an offence like that." The victory was the Ducks 16th in a row on their opponents field, the longest streak in the country. Mariota finished 14 of 28 for 199 yards with touchdowns of 30 yards to Bralon Addison and 11 to Keanon Lowe. The Cavaliers trailed 21-0 after 10:32 and never were able to sustain anything on offence. David Watford was 29 for 41 for 161 yards, but threw three interceptions and fumbled once, and all four turnovers led to Oregon touchdowns. "Im just learning every week, and thats all I can do," Watford, a first-year starter, said. Virginias lone touchdown came on a 45-yard run by Khalek Shepherd. After Mariotas long run, the teams exchanged punts, and when the Cavaliers Alec Vozenilek punted again from his 14, Josh Huff deflected the ball out of bounds at the Cavaliers 14. Three plays later, Thomas went through the line from a yard out for the touchdown, and it was 14-0 after 7:45. The Cavaliers got their first two first downs of the game on the next series before Watford rolled right, threw downfield on the run and the ball glanced off Dominique Terrells hands into the arms of Terrance Mitchell, who returned the interception 16 yards to the Virginia 40. On the next play, Thomas went around the right side and down the sideline, tight-roping the line for a touchdown, and it was 21-0. Shepherds touchdown gave the biggest crowd at Scott Stadium in five years reason for hope, pulling the Cavaliers within 21-7, and when the defence held on the next two series, the excitement grew. But early in the second quarter, Thomas ripped off a 22-yard run, took a swing pass 28 yards down the sideline and Mariota hit Bralon Addison with a short pass that turned into a 30-yard touchdown. Three plays. Eighty yards. Less than a minute off the clock. And the Ducks were rolling again. Thomas added an 8-yard TD run in the third quarter, and Mariota hit Keannon Lowe from 11 yards for a touchdown to make it 45-10, prompting both coaches to begin substituting liberally. Freshman tailback Thomas Tyner made the most of his chance, carrying four times for 51 yards and two touchdowns, including a 31-yarder midway through the final quarter. Kevin Parks led Virginia with 60 yards rushing, and Jake McGee caught eight passes, but for just 53 yards. 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