BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox could use another starter (or two or three) in their rotation, but Brian Johnson will not be an option anymore. The veteran left-hander has been granted his release from the team.
It was reported on Monday that Johnson had left the Red Sox’ alternate training site in Pawtucket, Rhode Island to return home to Florida on Monday, and his future with the team is unclear. Boston manager Ron Roenicke told reporters ahead of Monday’s game against Tampa Bay that Johnson asked the team for his release, a request the team has since granted.
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) August 10, 2020
Johnson was part of Boston’s 60-man player pool this season, but not on the team’s 40-man roster. The Red Sox recently recalled Dylan Covey from their player pool — not Johnson — when they sent down starter Ryan Weber over the weekend.
Johnson threw a simulated game at McCoy Stadium on Friday, and could have been in line to take Weber’s spot in the rotation later this week. But when Weber’s roster spot went elsewhere, it appears as though Johnson didn’t see a clear path back to the Majors with the Red Sox.
It’s an interesting move on Boston’s part, considering their rotation currently ranks 27th in all of baseball with a 5.49 ERA.
Johnson was a first-round pick by Boston in 2012, and spent time in the big leauges in 2015 and 2017-19. In his four years with Boston, Johnson appeared in 65 games (making 26 starts) and accrued a 7-9 record with a 4.47 ERA. He posted a 4-5 record and a 4.17 ERA over 38 outings in 2018, making 11 starts after July to help preserve Boston’s pitching staff for its World Series run.
The southpaw battled various injuries in 2019 and appeared in just 21 games.