Brian Johnson

Red Sox manager John Farrell explains decision to shut down left-hander Brian Johnson

John Tomase
August 04, 2015 - 3:21 pm

NEW YORK -- Red Sox left-handed pitching prospect Brian Johnson will be shut down for the time being with irritation in his ulnar collateral nerve, according to manager John Farrell. Speaking before the Red Sox visited the Yankees in New York on Tuesday night, Farrell said that it's too early to say if Johnson's injury extends to his ulnar collateral ligament, which would likely end his season. "Well, he came out of his last start with some elbow irritation," Farrell said. "It's in the ulnar nerve area. I don't know how long of a shutdown he'll go through. Obviously the elbow situation flared up on him and he's on the DL with Pawtucket." Johnson left his last start at Triple-A on Sunday in Buffalo after four innings with irritation in his elbow. The Red Sox placed him on the minor-league disabled list on Monday, and he underwent further testing on Tuesday. "I don't have the specifics," Farrell said. "The only thing I do know is that it's in the ulnar nerve area, so whether or not the ligament is completely uninvolved, I don't have the specifics of that." With Johnson sidelined, the Red Sox turned their attention to fellow left-handed prospect Henry Owens, who made his big league debut on Tuesday in New York. In other pregame news, Farrell said there he hopes second baseman Dustin Pedroia can begin baseball activities with the team in Detroit this weekend. He also expects outfielder Mookie Betts (concussion), to work with the team there, too. Speaking of Betts, Farrell said that even when he returns, fellow outfielder Rusney Castillo will continue to get every day playing time.