|Monday, April 21
D-Backs hope for Sunday return to rotation
Johnson has been experiencing inflammation and swelling in his right knee since his last start on April 11. He was initially scheduled to return last Wednesday.
Johnson was scratched from last Wednesday's start, however, and the team later determined after a weekend throwing session that he would not be able to start as scheduled Tuesday at Montreal. The move is retroactive to April 12.
"While yesterday's session showed us some encouraging signs, after consulting with our training staff I felt it was in ours and Randy's best interest to give the knee a few more days of rest,'' manager Bob Brenly said. "If he continues to show improvement as he did over the last few days, we'll set our sights on him making the start on Sunday in New York.
"As always, we're going to err on the side of caution, because this is still a very long season and we want Randy there for the long haul,'' Brenly said.
The Diamondbacks (7-12) are tied with San Diego for last place in the NL West, getting very little production from aces Johnson and Curt Schilling. The two combined for 47 wins last season but have only one so far in 2003.
Johnson, who has won the last four NL Cy Young awards, is 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA in three starts. The 39-year-old left-hander first experienced soreness in the knee after the April 11 start against Milwaukee, when he gave up 10 earned runs in 4 2-3 innings -- one of the worst outings in his career.
Schilling is 1-2 with a 4.28 ERA in four starts. He underwent an appendectomy Saturday, but might miss only one start.
This is Johnson's first stint on the disabled list since the end of the 1996 season, when he was with the Seattle Mariners.
The Diamondbacks recalled right-hander Brandon Webb from Triple-A Tucson to replace Johnson. Webb was 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three starts for Tucson.