With Eduardo Rodriguez on the disabled list, the Red Sox need someone to come up from Triple-A and make a start on Friday. (It was originally going to be Saturday, but they’ve decided to keep Sale on that day.) The assumption from the moment Rodriguez went down was that Brian Johnson was the obvious pitcher to get the chance. In his last major-league outing, of course, the lefty threw a complete game shutout at Fenway.
Then, over the weekend, Johnson went down with a leg injury and his start was in question. It certainly looked bad enough on tape that he’d at least have to miss that start. Even heading into yesterday’s action, there was no guarantee Johnson would be ready later in the week. As such, they held Hector Velazquez to just one inning in Triple-A, just in case. As it turns out, though, Johnson has looked good enough in workouts this week and will be ready to take the mound on Friday.
While one obviously shouldn’t expect the former Florida Gator to look as good as he did in his last time out, he is very clearly the top depth option right now. Velazquez probably isn’t as bad as his only major-league start would indicate, but his stuff isn’t impressive and his command needs to be more consistent. Henry Owens has the stuff, but....well, you know. There’s no command or control and he just hasn’t been able to take that last step. Johnson being healthy is very good news for the Red Sox, and he should at least give the offense a chance to win most nights he takes the mound.