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J.J. thriving after T.J.

As Francisco Liriano showed early last season plenty of pitchers initially are a mess when they come back from Tommy John elbow surgery, but Josh Johnson returned last July after a 12-month absence and picked up right where he left off. In fact, he's arguably been even better than before:

                  IP      ERA     SO/9     BB/9     GB/FB      MPH
Pre-Surgery      169     3.10      7.6      4.1      1.35     91.8
Post-Surgery      94     3.35      8.1      2.6      1.62     93.5

Johnson was plenty good before the surgery, going 12-7 with a 3.10 ERA in 157 innings as a 22-year-old rookie in 2006. However, after holding the Nationals scoreless for 6.2 innings last night he's now 8-1 with a 3.35 ERA and 85-to-27 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 94 innings spread over 15 starts since going under the knife.

Comparing post-surgery to pre-surgery, his strikeouts are up seven percent, his walks are down 37 percent, he's inducing more ground balls, and his average fastball velocity has risen nearly two miles per hour.

And the 6-foot-7 right-hander is still just 25 years old.