Johnson Vows To Lose Weight In Offseason

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 6, 2007

Nick Johnson spent much of the past week packing his Arlington apartment and preparing for an early flight this morning back to his home in Sacramento. He leaves the Washington Nationals having not played a game in 2007 -- all because of a broken right leg suffered last Sept. 23 -- but with a clear idea how he wants to arrive at spring training next season.

"For sure, I'm going to drop weight," the Nationals first baseman said. "You won't be seeing that 260 [pounds], I can tell you that."

Johnson had surgery Aug. 21 to have a rod and screw removed from his right leg, and he spent part of this week showing it off in the Nationals' clubhouse. He believes that without the hardware in his leg he'll soon be able to start doing cardiovascular work on an elliptical trainer, but waiting for clearance to run. He couldn't do those things during the offseason, one reason he reported to spring training overweight.

But Johnson also has hired a chef to ensure that he eats better.

"My wife's a great cook and everything, but she likes to make some cakes, too," Johnson said. "I can't be having the cookies in the jar, or I'll eat 'em."

Johnson has played at 240 pounds -- forget the 224 he is officially listed at in the media guide -- but said he would like to come into spring training below that.

"I'll do some more baseball activities than I usually do so I can have a clear mind knowing that I've done it and that it feels good," he said. "I'll hit. Just everything. I want to be ready."

Hill's Goals, Plans

Right-hander Shawn Hill, who spent three months on the disabled list, would like to log between 140 and 160 innings (he has 93 2/3 between the majors and minors this year). But he also likely will have surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder early in the offseason.

"We have some things to figure out," he said. Hill would throw in the Nationals' instructional league program before surgery.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company