Brian Johnson

Red Sox notes: Brian Johnson to start Tuesday; Ryan Hanigan linked up with Rick Porcello

Rob Bradford
July 17, 2015 - 5:10 pm

ANAHEIM -- Part of the mystery surrounding the Red Sox' starting rotation was cleared up prior to their series opener against the Angels Friday night. Red Sox manager John Farrell announced that Brian Johnson would be making his major league debut Tuesday, when the Sox take on the Astros in Houston. It will be more than two weeks since the lefty made a start, last appearing for Triple-A Pawtucket July 6. "Just the way things are falling," Farrell said in regards to the decision. "Brian's on that extended rest at this point, he threw an extended bullpen yesterday in advance of Tuesday, probably get in a light one on Sunday before Tuesday's start." Farrell still wasn't letting on whom might get the nod in the series finale, Monday night. With Joe Kelly pitching for the PawSox Friday night, and Justin Masterson remaining in the bullpen, it would appear that Steven Wright might be the favorite to fill the role. - As has been the case with Sandy Leon catching Clay Buchholz, Farrell suggested Ryan Hanigan would be linked up with Rick Porcello going forward. In the four games the two have teamed up, Porcello has managed a 3.60 ERA over 25 innings. "It's more the expressed confidence that Rick has got when Ryan's behind the plate," Farrell said. "And I realize when you say that it's got the sound where it might slight some others but I think in those key moments, that's where in those key moments the experience of Ryan has helped out Rick and we saw it in spring training, we saw it in the first few starts of the season, we saw it again in the start right prior to the break. There's always going to be those three or four pitches inside a given game where any starting pitcher's got to make those and if that matchup allows Rick to execute in those moments, that makes us a better team." - Dustin Pedroia was back in the Red Sox' lineup Friday, hitting second behind Mookie Betts and in front of Xander Bogaerts. As for how much Pedroia will be playing now that he is coming off his right hamstring injury, Farrell was non-committal. "I think in Pedey'€™s mind, coming back it was the thought he'€™d go every day," the manager said. "That'€™s the way he'€™s wired as we know. But we also have to be cognisant if there'€™s a day of rest to give him a day of recovery when the action has picked back up so we'€™ll see it as we go." Here was the Red Sox lineup for their series-opening game against the Angels and C.J. Wilson: Betts, Pedroia, Bogaerts, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Hanigan.