“I mean, there’s a couple things going on mechanics-wise and stuff like that,” he said. “But all in all it comes down to executing pitches and making quality strikes. Just the things that all pitchers are trying to do. Throw strikes, locate your fastball, just stuff like that. But mechanics are going to make a difference and getting some reps in.”
And still, Braves manager Brian Snitker has allowed Johnson to work through it. It might've cost the Braves a series-win over the Mariners, but Johnson is thankful for Snitker's faith.
“Snit’s great,” Johnson said. “He’s given me ample opportunity to come out of it. Things just haven’t gone my way, so I appreciate him having my back. That’s just one less thing I have to worry about. He just lets me worry about it and I appreciate that.”
Snitker alluded to Johnson possibly taking some time off if he needs it when rosters expand in September. After considering temporarily shutting him down, Johnson will receive further chances to redeem himself.
If nothing else, Johnson said maybe his struggles could help prepare some of the younger players in the clubhouse. He’s gotten used to being surrounded by – and tutoring - the up-and-comers.
“It’s been about the story for the last, what, five years now?” Johnson said. “It’s every clubhouse I’ve been in. But hopefully there’s young guys that’ll come up, they’ll have success, they’ll struggle, but they’ll be better for that struggle. You know, if them watching me going through hard times can help them prepare themselves, I mean, that’s just the way the game works sometimes.”