Josh Johnson Working Past Final Hurdle

Johnson is hoping to pitch again this year.

Florida Marlins ace Josh Johnson said he's still not sure if he'll return this season.

Johnson said he is feeling progress in 10-minute sessions of long-toss, which he throws on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays off flat ground. He plans to stretch out to 120 feet soon and perhaps throw off a mound in late August.

"I've worked it all out in my head many times," Johnson said. "It's frustrating."

Johnson wants to return to the rotation, even if it's only for a couple of late-season starts.

"Peace of mind," Johnson said. "There are a lot people telling me it's not worth it ... make sure you're healthy for next year."

Johnson was 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA in his first nine appearances before a sore shoulder landed him on the disabled list in May.

He will have missed most of the season regardless of what happens in September.

"Throwing and feeling good is a step in the right direction," he said.


Fish Wrap

--C John Baker, who had Tommy John surgery last Sept. 2, hopes to start playing rehab games later in August and join the Marlins for a few games as a September call-up. He is hitting, catching bullpens and playing catch. He played about a week of minor league games in May before feeling pain, shutting it down and starting his rehab over.

"I probably would have done a lot more damage had I kept playing and my career probably would have been over," he said.

--Neither OF Scott Cousins nor C Buster Posey will be with their teams when the Marlins and Giants play a three-game series this weekend. It's the first series between the teams since Cousins plowed Posey on May 25, ending the Giants catcher's season. Players don't expect any lingering fallout in the series that starts Friday.

"They've had to move on, we've had to move on," said Marlins INF Greg Dobbs. "Cooler heads will prevail. That's the way it should be."

Cousins has been on the disabled list since June 14 because of a degenerative disk in his lower back, an injury not related to the collision.

--Mired in a seven-game losing streak, the Marlins had strict orders Thursday to stay away from Sun Life Stadium on the team's day off.

"I think the guys need to get away from this place," manager Jack McKeon said. "Don't even come near it. Get a little mental therapy."

--Injured CF Chris Coghlan said his lost season "has been very humbling" but he hopes to get back on the field at the end of August.

"It's one of those things where I've definitely learned a lot about listening to my body," said Coghan, the 2009 Rookie of the Year. Coghlan was hitting .230 in 65 games this season before being sent to Class AAA New Orleans. But he was shifted to the disabled list a few days later after revealing his knee was sore. He played in 11 rehab games in July before injuring his elbow.

"One thing I've learned through this whole process is not to put a day on anything because each time I have it's been kind of a letdown," Coghlan said. "I want to be back and help this team win as many games as I can. This is what I enjoy doing."

--RHP Jose Fernandez, the Marlins' top draft pick, remains unsigned as Tuesday's deadline approaches. Fernandez, taken with the 14th pick, threw a 98 mph fastball with Alonso High School in Tampa.

BY THE NUMBERS: 7 -- Consecutive losses for the Marlins after a 6-2 defeat to the Braves on Wednesday.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Our starting pitching has got to get tough and hold them down early in the game. We cannot keep battling back with an uphill battle." -- Manager Jack McKeon, after Florida's 6-2 loss on Wednesday.

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