The End of the Big Unit? by Matthew Carruth July 29, 2009 The Associated Press noted today that an exam on Randy Johnson’s throwing shoulder Monday revealed some tearing in his rotator cuff. Johnson, who already had not played since July 5th when he hurt the shoulder batting of all things, was moved to the 60-day disabled list making him eligible to return September 5th. It is unclear at this point how major the tearing is, but obviously any tearing in the rotator cuff is not a good sign. Surgery was apparently discussed and decided against at this point, likely in the hopes that Johnson can come back and pitch a bit in September should the Giants still be in the playoff race. It is worth noting that Johnson this year has managed to remain close to his old self. The strikeouts are down, the walks up, but his real downfall has been a spike in home run rate. All that said, though, his xFIP of 3.83 and tRA* of 4.40 both show him to be better than league average still. What is even more unclear is Johnson’s future. Surgery of any type would seem likely to cut into his availability for 2010 and the rehab for a 45-year-old would be tougher than usual. Could this mark the end of Randy Johnson’s Major League career? I certainly hope not and hopefully we get some more information in the coming weeks as to the extent of the injury.