Red Sox Brian Johnson Put On Minor League DL


The Boston Red Sox do not need any more bad news.

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This morning’s USA Today newspaper revealed an MLB power ranking completed by 10 of their sports writers and editors, with comments by Scott Boeck of the reasons for their selections. The Red Sox ranked 24th overall, one spot higher than last week, with the lone comment being, “CEO/President Larry Lucchino to step down.” Take that for what you will, but after starting pitcher Rick Porcello went on the disabled list, recently, some people assumed that it was only a matter of time before some young prospect would take his place in the rotation. News coming out of Triple-A Pawtucket, the Red Sox minor league affiliate, is that it won’t be Brian Johnson.

According to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe, “Johnson will be placed on the minor league disabled list after leaving his start for Triple A Pawtucket on Sunday after four innings because of tightness in his pitching elbow. The 24-year-old lefthander was to undergo further evaluation Monday and Tuesday.”

Johnson was expected to join the big club against the New York Yankees; however, that decision has been derailed until his medical evaluation provides results later in the week.

Let’s not jump to conclusions, here. For many baseball fans and experts who follow the game closely, ‘tightness in his pitching elbow’ has often preceded decisions for Tommy John surgery, especially when it involves pitchers. So does ‘forearm tightness’, ‘arm fatigue’, and any other codes that have been used. However, Johnson is still young and could just require rest.

The fact is that the Red Sox need Johnson to be fine. They can’t afford him not to be healthy with Porcello and Clay Buchholz, their ace, down with their own injuries.

Red Sox Nation may remember Johnson’s debut this season when he gave up four runs on three hits in 4.1 innings against the Houston Astros. He was sent back down to Triple-A, but has had a good season there. Johnson has a 9-6 record with a 2.53 ERA and 90 strikeouts. His lefty arm is also a desired weapon against American League lineups touting lefty bats, especially the Yankees. In the game against the Norfolk Tideon July 28th, Johnson threw 6.1 shutout innings. His last start was August 2nd against the Buffalo Bisons when he allowed one run in four innings.

Johnson is considered the Red Sox’ number four prospect and they will not want to lose him in their organization, at any level, for any stretch of time. Between today and tomorrow night, we should know what will happen. Hopefully for everyone involved it will only require rest.

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