On thursday evening, Diamondback Hall of Famer Randy Johnson will add to his legend in the valley as he is being honored with a street being named after him outside Chase Field. It will be called ‘Randy Johnson Way.” Johnson’s self-deprecating humor came out when discussion this honor that he will be receiving.
“What does that exactly mean?!” Johnson joked with Brad Cesmat on Sports360AZ. “I’ve been so humbled and honored and bestowed in the last year a lot of really cool things. Last year getting a key to the city from the Mayor but I found out it didn’t open anything or start anything. So what does it mean having the street? I’ve given up home runs longer than what the street distance is going to be.”
Besides having the street named after him, his involvement with the team has grown this season and had interesting things to say about the Diamondbacks current starting rotation which for the most part, has under-performed this season. But from his eyes, there is no reason to panic.
“I know the team got off to a slow start and I have talked to various people about that with the Diamondbacks but I also knew it’s a long season,” explained Johnson. “There is no way that talent won’t rise to the top. After being involved during spring training essentially from the start to the end, I saw a lot of talent there.”
Johnson recalled how the team got swept by Miami and Colorado but has managed to bounce back by winning five of the last six game to get back on track.
“It’s not shocking to see how things are starting to pan out and it all starts with the pitching,” Johnson mentioned. “That pitching is way too good. This rotation is the best rotation, probably one through five, that the Diamondbacks may have had in some time.”
Zack Greinke’s tough start has been well document but over the last several starts, he seems to be getting it together and in talking with him, Johnson has seen how intelligent a pitcher he is and isn’t surprised he seems to have weathered the storm.
“A lot of eyes are on him naturally and I think he is stating to settle in,” said Johnson. “It’s a long season and I think we are starting to see now what he is capable of doing. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he rattles off several more wins before he has his next bad game if you will.”
“I think a lot i counted on him as any ace of the staff, I think he understands that there is a trickle down effect,” he added.
Shelby Miller, the other key pitching acquisition from the offseason, had really his first quality start of the season this past weekend against his former team in Atlanta. Miller’s issues is that he has struggled with walks and being able to pitch past the third inning. Johnson has sat down with Miller to try and work with him through the adversity.
“I talked with him after his San Francisco start and he felt it was more mechanical stuff that he was being inconsistent with,” explained Johnson. “I just did what I do and throw out suggestions and told him to go look at a good pitching performance from when he was with St. Louis or Atlanta, put it on a split screen and compare those mechanics to what you’re doing now and try to find things. I think they have kind of addressed all of that.”
If anyone knows pitching and the work that goes into it, it’s ‘the Big Unit’ and from his eyes, there is still a lot of promise in what this rotation could offer this season.