Boston Red Sox pitcher Brian Johnson

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Red Sox Farm Report: Brian Johnson trying to pace himself despite desire for quick return

Nick Friar
May 22, 2019 - 8:13 am

Brian Johnson made his second appearance for a Red Sox farm team as part of his rehab from left elbow inflammation that landed him on the 10-day injured list back on April 6. He came on in relief for Triple-A Pawtucket against the Columbus Clippers (Indians) in his first outing, and his numbers weren’t all that great: 1 2/3 innings, two runs, three hits, one walk, and one strikeout. On Tuesday, Johnson instead started for Double-A Portland, though he couldn’t get through his second inning of work, once again lasting 1 2/3 innings. This time he struck out four, but he gave up three runs (all unearned) on three hits and one walk against the Trenton Thunder (Yankees).

“My arm felt great,” Johnson told reporters. “When I reached back, when I wanted to, I knew my velocity was going to be fine. Especially (for my) second start.”

Johnson also expressed he put an emphasis on his splitter in Tuesday’s outing, in addition to incorporating his slider which he didn’t feature while with Pawtucket six days prior.

Johnson isn’t where he wants to be mechanically, he admits that. But like anyone else, he wants to get back to the big time right away, regardless of whether or not he’s ready. Portland pitching coach Paul Abbott helped him put this rehab in perspective to keep Johnson on the right track.

“He said it perfectly: ‘There’s no need to rush because if I rush it and get back and I’m not where I want to be, I’m only going to hurt the team (not) help the team.’ That’s part of the problem, for me,” Johnson said. “I want to just hurry up and get back. But ultimately I have to — after missing five (or) six weeks (this) is almost kind of like spring training, right now, for me. I’m trying to figure out my mechanics.”

Johnson is guaranteed to make one more rehab appearance. He expressed he could make a fourth.

 

Pedroia makes fourth-consecutive start

The PawSox got back to work on Tuesday to face the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees) following Monday’s built-in off-day. After playing all three games over the weekend, starting at designated hitter twice, Dustin Pedroia was back at second base for an eight-inning performance. Pedroia was able to make a few plays on Tuesday after going untested in his previous start at second (May 17). He fielded one grounder and turned a double play on a feed from third baseman Mike Miller in the first inning, then later fielded another throw at second from Miller to end the third frame. At the plate, Pedroia went 1-for-5.

Brock Holt was also in the lineup for the PawSox, playing shortstop. He too went 1-for-5, though he did knock in a run with his first-inning double and later scored on a Rusney Castillo sac fly after stealing third base. Holt fielded two grounders at short, both coming in the sixth inning.