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Johnson hits a snag

Sadly, former Cardinals reliever Tyler Johnson had a setback this week in his recovery from shoulder trouble that ended his 2008 season before it began.

The lefty reported to camp with the Mariners after signing a minor league contract with the club that included an invitation to compete for a job in spring training, only to fail his team physical. Johnson's pitching shoulder is unusually weak. So, instead of working on his fastball, he's been prescribed an exercise program to strengthen his joint.

Johnson said he believes the weakness is due to his repeated auditions with prospective clubs.

"I had tryouts with a lot of teams in a short amount of time for about three weeks, and I might have done too much too quick," Johnson told "I aired it out because I was excited."  

On the bright side, Johnson said he has had no pain in the surgically repaired shoulder. He is expected to miss at least a week. Hopefully, the setback won't put him too far behind the competition.