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Josh Johnson "50-50" to Make Next Start Due to Back Tightness


              Marlins ace Josh Johnson could miss his next scheduled start due to back/side pain and tightness that has bothered him for weeks. Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said it's fair to say that Johnson is "50-50" to start on Friday in Washington while adding the severity of the problem is uncertain at this point. It's not inconceivable that Johnson's back issues could force him to shut down the rest of the season, as he has only five starts remaining. But that's purely speculative. It's just as possible that Johnson could try to pitch through it with continued treatment and that his next start could be bumped back a few days. Bottom line: the immediate plans for Johnson are up in the air. I've been told the Marlins should have a more definitive answer by Wednesday.

              This much is certain: Johnson did not throw his normal, side bullpen session at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday and did not stretch with his Marlins teammates before batting practice. He was inside the training room, receiving treatment for the back.

              The Marlins have already lost Ricky Nolasco, who is scheduled to undergo surgery on Wednesday for a torn meniscus in his right knee, and are looking at suspensions for two of their other starters, Chris Volstad and Alex Sanabia.

              Johnson, who pitched in the July 13 All-Star Game, has a record of 1-3 with a 4.25 ERA in his seven starts since Aug. 1. Before then, he had gone 10-3 with a 1.73 ERA.


              Marlins: 1. Emilio Bonifacio, 3b; 2. Logan Morrison, lf; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Dan Uggla, 2b; 5. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 6. Mike Stanton, rf; 7. Cameron Maybin, cf; 8. Brad Davis, c; 9. Chris Volstad, p.

              Phillies: 1. Shane Victorino, cf; 2. Placido Polanco, 3b; 3. Chase Utley, 2b; 4. Ryan Howard, 1b; 5. Jimmy Rollins, ss; 6. Raul Ibanez, lf; 7. Jayson Werth, rf; 8. Carlos Ruiz, c; 9. Joe Blanton, p.