The evolution of Josh Johnson

Updated: March 15, 2013, 10:42 AM ET
By Buster Olney

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The conditions weren't the best for a pitcher trying to get in his spring work, as Josh Johnson needed to do in an exhibition against the New York Yankees on Thursday. The perfect scenario would have been for Johnson to quickly get through his prescription of 60 pitches, sitting down for a little while between his turns on the mound, and instead he had to wait while the Toronto hitters feasted on some young Yankees pitchers -- nine runs in the first inning, six runs in the second. That run support would be fully embraced by a pitcher in the regular season, but in a meaningless exhibition, it was just another hurdle to be overcome.

Johnson mostly did what he set out to do for the day, continuing his evolution from someone who was mostly a two-pitch monster who overpowered hitters to something more refined, with less velocity but a greater array of pitches.