Josh Johnson has apparently been working on a sinker this Spring Training. He claims he picked it up while playing catch with fellow Marlins starter Chris Volstad.
Adding a sinker to his arsenal could prove to be even more deadly for opposing hitters this season. Johnson went 11-6 with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, throwing a fastball averaging 94.7 MPH, a slider, and a changeup.
Volstad is not a bad guy to learn a sinker from, as his has some of the best downward movement in the game. Last year, his sinker ranked 7th in all of baseball in movement with an average of 14.8 feet per second of downward velocity. However, he got into trouble leaving his sinker up in the zone too often, and batters hit .283 and slugged .442 on it.
It remains to be seen if Josh Johnson will effectively utilize the sinker this season. He's been able to induce some groundballs with it in limited use this spring, but until the real games begin, there's no way of knowing how confident he'll be throwing it. With men on base and less than 2 outs, a sinker can be a pitcher's best friend. If Johnson can master the pitch, he'll have yet another weapon to keep batters off their game.