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Marlins to shut down ace righty

MIAMI — Josh Johnson woke up Monday without back pain for the first time in weeks. It wasn't enough to save his season.

Johnson was shut down for the rest of the year by the Marlins, who remain in the postseason chase by the slimmest of margins.

"It's just the smart thing to do," Johnson said.

The right-hander was scratched from a start last week after a strained muscle near the middle of his back forced him to end a bullpen session. Johnson also had his shoulder examined, mostly for precautionary reasons.

He may be able to begin playing catch later this month.

Once the Marlins said over the weekend that Johnson wouldn't make his scheduled Wednesday start against the Phillies, it seemed only a matter of time before they declared his 2010 season over.

"We saw that coming," manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "We were very careful with him and made a decision that we were going to shut him down. He was getting a little better, but he was very far from being 100 percent. So that's why we made the decision and he agreed."

Johnson went 11-6 with a career-best 2.30 ERA this season and matched a career high with 12 strikeouts in what was his final start, Sept. 4 against the Braves. For the season, he struck out 186 in 1832/3 innings.

MARINERS FIRE EXEC: Carmen Fusco was fired as Seattle's professional scouting director. Fusco was responsible for overseeing the scouting of the major- and minor-league teams. The team did not announce a replacement.

Fusco appears to be a victim of the fallout over the acquisition of prospect Josh Lueke, who missed most of last season after being charged with rape and sodomy and served 40 days in jail after pleading guilty to lesser charges. Many in the organization said they didn't know of Lueke's history when the club acquired him in the trade that sent LHP Cliff Lee to the Rangers.

REDS ADD DEPTH: Down to two fully healthy outfielders, Cincinnati acquired utilityman Willie Bloomquist from the Royals for either a player to be named or cash.

ADENHART CASE: Testimony will soon be under way in the murder trial of a man accused of driving drunk in the crash that killed Angels rookie RHP Nick Adenhart and two of his friends last year.

The Orange County district attorney's office said opening statements in the second-degree murder case will begin at 9:30 a.m. today in Orange County (Calif.) Superior Court. Andrew Gallo, 23, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and a count of felony hit-and-run.

SELIG HONORED: A top cancer research organization will honor commissioner Bud Selig by making a grant in his honor. Major League Baseball was the first major donor to Stand Up to Cancer with a $10 million pledge in 2008.

ANGELS: RHP Joel Pineiro, out since late July with a strained oblique muscle, is scheduled to return from the disabled list Saturday and start against the Rays.

ATHLETICS: With 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff out with lower back pain, the team signed former Rays INF Akinori Iwamura, who was released last week by the Pirates.

BREWERS: Flu-like symptoms forced 1B Prince Fielder out of the lineup, ending his streak of playing in 327 games.

METS: LHP Johan Santana is scheduled for surgery today to repair a tear of the anterior capsule of the left shoulder.

PADRES: OF Scott Hairston was scratched from the lineup with a sore left shoulder.

PHILLIES: SS Jimmy Rollins was diagnosed with a strained right hamstring after an MRI exam ruled out any major problems such as a significant tear. Manager Charlie Manuel said he expects Rollins to return to the team today.

Marlins to shut down ace righty 09/13/10 [Last modified: Monday, September 13, 2010 9:32pm]
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