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With a roster crunch on the horizon and performance issues lefty Brian Johnson may be a roster casualty.
I like lefty Brian Johnson I really do. Johnson is a former number one pick who has overcome professional and personal adversity to finally have a regular roster spot or does he? The numbers are significant – 5,1,3. In his last three appearances that is the earned runs, Johnson has allowed.
Johnson was out of options, so the Red Sox kept him on their 25-man roster and the early promise was encouraging with a six inning, one earned run win against the Marlins. The Marlins despite the talent purge by Derek Jeter are still an MLB team and Johnson did the job. Then came the big boys known as the Yankees and Angels.
Against both teams, Johnson again showed an ability to go multiple innings against the best of the best lineups. Johnson tossed 6.2 innings in three appearances allowing no earned runs and just three hits. The Red Sox won two of those three games and Johnson was a key, but now what? Like a stock that has question marks do you hold or sell?
Bobby Poyner earned his shot and was performing with confidence before injury struck. He is also a lefty and will be back. Hector Velazquez has done an efficient job in long relief and represents a more stable option than Johnson. Velazquez also keeps the walks under control and Johnson has had a career issue with that.
The Red Sox could designate Johnson, but he will be gone and gone quickly. A trade is also a possibility but expect limited return. And then there is patience. Do you simply realize that Johnson – like a hitter – is in a slump, but the counter is the good was an anomaly and the bad was what Johnson has always been.
And with patience, this is not the Royals or the Reds but the Red Sox. A team that could win 100 games and is in a battle with the Yankees to maintain American League East supremacy. Johnson does not have the resume of others who have had a performance bump or two. Patience is not something Red Sox Nation is known for.
With a roster crunch, Boston may be in the unenviable position of simply tossing Johnson to the winds via designated for assignment. This would not be ten cents on the dollar, but a giveaway. Of course, Boston could and probably will go the famous PTBNL or cash considerations. What is known at this juncture is a trip to the mound by Johnson is a signal the game may be over and over in a negative way.