NEW YORK, N.Y. - The Toronto Blue Jays scratched Josh Johnson from his start against the New York Yankees on Friday night because of right triceps tightness, and the team hopes the precautionary move will keep him from missing any further outings.
Aaron Laffey, a recent waiver claim, will start in Johnson's place.
"We kind of wanted to play it smart and make sure I'm not out an extended period of time," Johnson said.
Johnson said he felt something in his previous start, against the Yankees in Toronto on Sunday, and skipped his usual side session this week. He described the area of the injury as where the triceps and biceps meet, far from the elbow and shoulder. Johnson had elbow reconstruction surgery in 2007 and missed nearly all of 2011 because of shoulder inflammation.
"It's nowhere near the shoulder, the shoulder feels great," Johnson said. "It's one of those things that came out of nowhere and you have to deal with it."
He had an MRI on Friday, saying the test was ordered because of the unusual location of the pain.
"Hopefully it's no big deal," manager John Gibbons said.
Johnson has struggled in four starts since coming to Toronto in an off-season trade with Miami that also netted Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle. Reyes is on the disabled list with an injured ankle.
The right-handed Johnson is 0-1 with a 6.86 ERA.
The Blue Jays did not offer a contract to Laffey after the left-hander went 4-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 22 games — 16 starts — for Toronto last season.
He signed a minor league deal with the New York Mets in December and made four appearances, including two starts, with them before being designated for assignment Sunday. Laffey gave up eight runs in 10 innings and didn't make it out of the fifth inning in either start.
The Blue Jays claimed him off waivers Tuesday.
"We wanted to create some depth," in the organization, Gibbons said of the decision to pick up Laffey. "Laffey's pitched in the big leagues. He has some experience."
Laffey is 25-29 with a 4.44 ERA for five teams in seven seasons.