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Red Sox minor lines: Brian Johnson puts the pressure on Joe Kelly

Looking for a Joe Kelly replacement? Brian Johnson is making the decision easy for Boston...if they're willing to make it.

Pawtucket W 3-2

Jackie Bradley Jr.: 1-5, K
Shane Victorino: 0-2
Rusney Castillo: 2-5
Deven Marrero: 0-4

Brian Johnson: 6.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Pat Light: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Matt Barnes: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Noe Ramirez: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Well, if Brian Johnson wanted to show the Red Sox front office that he's more deserving of a rotation spot than Joe Kelly, it's hard to do too much better than that. He's bouncing back from one of his worst starts of the season, but that was just a four-run, six-inning outing since he's been so consistently solid. With a 2.57 ERA in 80 innings and a 76:23 K:BB, there's just not all that much left for him to prove down below. And there's a pretty clear need in the majors.

Portland L 1-3

Carlos Asuaje: 0-4, 2 K
Manuel Margot: 0-4, 1 K

Justin Haley: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K

Justin Haley is finally clawing his season back into respectable territory.He's still got a ways to go, especially if he even wants to approach the levels he was at in years past, but 12 scoreless innings is a start, and just two walks spread across them is equally encouraging given that he's allowed 28 in 50 leading up to these last two starts.

Lowell W 10-1

Tate Matheny: 0-3, 2 BB, K
Tucker Tubbs: 1-4, 3B, BB, K
Victor Acosta: 3-5
Luis Alexander Basabe: 2-4, 3B, BB, K

Luis Alexander Basabe is hitting at the bottom of the lineup in the realm of non-prospects. And I'll grant you, he's not cracking any top prospect lists unless they're ridiculously large. But he's just an 18-year-old with most of the tools you could ask for who's hitting pretty well in these first five games after a pretty strong season at the rookie level. Seems worthy of a bit more respect than that, in my mind.

GCL Red Sox W 3-0

Trent Kemp: 1-4, K
Yoan Aybar: 1-4

Anderson Espinoza: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Anderson Espinoza makes his successful debut stateside. The recipient of a $1.8 million bonus last year, Espinoza is one of the most interesting international signings in the system not named Moncada.