Red Sox: Why is Brian Johnson still not on Boston’s roster?

The Red Sox pitching staff needs Brian Johnson

The Red Sox pitching staff has been nothing short of horrible with the exception of current number one starter Nathan Eovaldi. However, including Eovaldi, the combined ERA of the Red Sox starting pitchers is 6.00 with a 2-4 record. That’s just not going to cut it, especially with only 60 games to work with in 2020. It’s clear the team needs some help but so far they haven’t dipped into their player pool.

This brings me to my big question on the day, why isn’t Brian Johnson on the Red Sox roster?

Johnson is a known commodity. He has been in the Red Sox organization his entire career, after being drafted by them in 2012. He pitched in the big leagues with Boston for four seasons, including the past three. Yet, with one of the worst starting rotations in Major League Baseball, Johnson was left off of the Opening Day Roster and still has yet to be called up.

He has a career ERA of 4.74, and 4.64 the last three seasons. Is that good? No, it’s not, but it’s better than the 88 MPH throwing, 5 plus ERA, no experience journeyman the Red Sox have going every night. The Sox have started Martin Perez, Matt Hall,  and Josh Osich. Their respective ERAs are 5.06, 10.13, and 4.91. Brian Johnson should at least be competing with these guys.

The Red Sox know what they’ll get out of Johnson, and he has shown dashes of brilliancy in his tenure with the team. In 2017, he threw a complete game with 8 K’s and no runs allowed. Yes, it was 2017, but he’s shown that he can actually pitch at the big league level, something that Ryan Weber, Hall, and Osich have not proved.

He can start for this Red Sox team, give them at least 3-5 innings, maybe even six or seven if he pitches well. Sure, he’s not great, but you know what you’re going to get out of him. This pitching staff is so poor that it could most definitely use Johnson.

In a Boston Globe article written just a few weeks ago, Peter Abraham said he was a serious candidate for a rotation spot. Ron Roenicke said he could be a 4th starter in early July! So what is he doing sitting around doing nothing at Boston College while Red Sox pitching gets destroyed?

Instead of calling up Johnson, Chaim Bloom is chasing these diamonds in the rough who are all getting shelled, and he’s not looking like the statistical genius he’s made out to be. Bloom’s best offseason signing was Martin Perez.

This is a guy who would be a number 5 starter for a lot of teams, and his career ERA is 4.72. I hated that signing when it happened, and it was pretty obvious what kind of production the Sox were going to get from Perez if you ask me. Be better Chaim Bloom. It also wouldn’t hurt adding another veteran arm to the rotation to balance out a plethora of untested young talent that Boston has on the pitching staff right now.

Next: Why Jose Peraza is an important part of the lineup

Bloom’s strategy is not working. So why not give Brian Johnson a try? You know what he’s going to give you. He’s certainly nothing special, but he can give you innings and not get completely rocked, like most of the current Red Sox starters. With the season off to an abysmal 3-4 start, it’s time to start trying new things before 2020 slips completely away.

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