UPDATE 5/10: The return date for Jays right-hander Josh Johnson keeps being pushed back. Toronto originally hoped the right-hander would only miss a few starts, then pegged him for a late May return, and now Johnson isn't expected to get back into the Blue Jays' rotation until "at least June," reports Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.
Johnson hasn't pitched since April 21 because of tightness in his triceps, and the club wants to make his recovery a "gradual process." The 29-year-old is tentatively scheduled to start a rehab stint on May 21, but GM Alex Anthopoulos iterated the date isn't "set in stone."
Ricky Romero filled in for Johnson in his last two starts, but was pretty awful and has been replaced by the seemingly ageless Ramon Ortiz.
Toronto had originally hoped that Johnson could return earlier than in the month, but the right-handed starter is still being bothered by his right triceps. The team did perform an MRI on his right arm, which came back negative.
Although the news is discouraging for Blue Jays fans, it's not all-together unexpected. Tom Dakers of Bluebird Banter pointed out that Johnson's injury was more serious than the team let on, since they only back dated his DL start to April 29th. The team had the option of making his DL start date retroactive to April 21 if they thought Johnson could return earlier in the month.
The Blue Jays have used Ricky Romero in place of Johnson in the starting rotation, and will need to rely on the southpaw to help hold the rotation together. Romero is attempting to bounce-back from an absolutely disastrous 2012 campaign, when he posted a 5.77 ERA in 181 innings pitched. The lefty struggled with his control last season, walking 5.22 batters per nine innings.
Romero looked shaky in his first start for Toronto this season, as he allowed three runs in four innings. The 28 year-old surrendered three walks and one homer, but did strike out four hitters.