PHOENIX (AP) -Manager Bob Melvin will decide after a Monday bullpen session whether Randy Johnson is ready to join the Arizona Diamondbacks rotation or needs one more minor league rehabilitation start.
``Right now it's literally 50-50,'' Melvin said before the Diamondbacks' game against Colorado on Saturday night.
Johnson, who underwent back surgery after last season, threw six innings for Triple-A Tucson against Colorado Springs on Friday night. He allowed two earned runs and eight hits, striking out three and walking one.
The 43-year-old five-time Cy Young award winner threw 85 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Another start in the minors ``would get him on track for a normal amount of spring training innings. For a guy coming off back surgery, we'll see.''
On the other hand, Melvin said, ``If he feels that much better and feels like he's ready to go, has a good bullpen session, feels great physically, we could consider'' giving him a start for Arizona late next week.
Johnson, who also doubled and had a sacrifice bunt Friday night, said afterward he was ``still searching for a few things.''
``I am looking for consistency and looking to go out there and throw all my pitches and be effective out there,'' he said. ``That is what every pitcher is looking for.''
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