Red Sox Prospect Watch: Spring Training’s halfway point
By Mike El-Far
While Hernandez and Marrero have taken advantage of their time in Fort Myers, Brian Johnson has done the exact opposite. His struggles started last year in Pawtucket, and he has not been able to reverse those this spring. Just a short time ago, Johnson was seen as a possible 4 or 5 starter. Now, it is highly unlikely that he even comes up to Boston this year.
Johnson has a 5+ ERA in three appearances, and cannot seem to get batters out. Batters are currently hitting .367 against him, which is never good. Also, Johnson has only started one game, which shows the lack of faith Farrell has in him.
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His struggles could not have come at a worse time due to multiple injuries in the rotation. If Johnson was pitching well, there is a chance he could have been a part of the rotation. But, it seems like Johnson will only get a chance to be a part of the Red Sox if there is a spot start. Johnson is currently on pace to be the next Henry Owens.
I wish I could report some good news out of the bullpen, but that is not the case either. Luis Ysla, who is a top 20 prospect for Boston, has also struggled this spring. He has appeared in 6 games, and there are mixed feelings about his performance.
His ERA is 5.06, which is awful as a reliever. But he has limited batters to just a .190 average, and has saved one game. With Carson Smith not going to be ready for this team for at least six weeks, Ysla could have taken his spot to start the year. But much like Johnson, he probably will not see Boston until September call-ups.