Brian Johnson Suffers “Non-Baseball Related Medical Matter”, Placed on IL
Boston Red Sox spot starter and relief pitcher Brian Johnson has been placed on the 10-day injured list with what the team is calling a “non-baseball related medical matter”. In a corresponding move, the Red Sox have activated right-handed pitcher Hector Velazquez from the 10-day injured list. Additionally, first baseman Sam Travis has been temporarily added to the roster as Boston’s 26th man for their London series. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe was the first to report the news.
From the #RedSox: LHP Brian Johnson was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 27, with a non-baseball related medical matter that was discovered during routine testing by the club’s medical staff. Johnson is expected to return to pitching this season.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) June 29, 2019
Brian Johnson Placed on Injured List With “Non-Baseball Related Medical Matter”
As of this posting, the general public is not aware of Johnson’s specific injury. All we know is that Johnson underwent routine testing by the team and the training staff noticed something was amiss. While it sounds like he’ll be off the field for a while, Abraham notes that the Red Sox expect Johnson to return at some point in the season.
This isn’t Johnson’s first time on the injured list this year, as the lefty battled through an elbow injury early in the season. So far on the year, Johnson has recorded a 6.43 ERA and a 5.40 ERA in 14.0 innings of work. He’s striking out 8.36 batters per nine innings while issuing 3.86 walks per nine. While these numbers are obviously not great, they are artificially inflated by one atrocious outing in which he allowed seven runs in just 1.1 innings of work.
Johnson, once a top prospect in the system, found a role for himself as a long arm in the bullpen and an emergency starter in 2018. During his first full season in the majors, Johnson pitched 99.1 innings to the tune of a 4.17 ERA and a 4.68 FIP. Even though he didn’t make the postseason roster, the lefty served as the fifth man in the rotation for the second half of the season while Chris Sale battled a shoulder injury.
The Red Sox activated Hector Velazquez to take Johnson’s spot on the roster. So far on the season, Velazquez has pitched 38.2 innings to the tune of a 5.59 ERA and a 4.53 FIP. Additionally, Sam Travis and his .167/.167/.167 slash line in 24 plate appearances made the trip to London. Although he’s not on the active roster, Abraham noted that Pawtucket Red Sox catcher Oscar Hernandez also made the trip to London, presumably to serve as emergency depth should something happen to Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon.