While the Pawtucket Red Sox roster continues to get purged while the Red Sox look for answers with their major league club, sending the Route-95 shuttle bus back and forth, PawSox pitcher Brian Johnson received some good news on Thursday as he was named to the International League All-Star team. The AAA All-Star Game is July 15 in Omaha home of the Omaha Storm Chasers of the Pacific Coast League.
Johnson has enjoyed a great season with the PawSox with a record of 8-5 in 15 starts. Johnson is tied for the league lead in wins and is 5th in ERA at 2.68. If it wasn’t for Eduardo Rodriguez it is likely Brian Johnson would be up with the big league club right now. Johnson another lefty, who mixes all of his pitches well without overpowering stuff, will likely see a look in the second half of the season.
With Joe Kelly now his PawSox teammate Johnson will likely see a look if Rick Porcello continues to struggle or if Justin Masterson has a repeat of his early season struggles. Johnson, will be 25 in December so he is entering the prime of his career where many players like Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts are already in the big leagues at 22.
Johnson, came out of his most recent start with the PawSox after five pitches issuing a walk. There was cause for concern but it is believed he had an illness that caused him to be taken out of the game. The PawSox list Zeke Spruill as Thursday’s starting pitcher with no pitcher listed for Friday nights game which could be Johnson if he is deemed ready to pitch. An injury would really be unfortunate for Johnson, as this year he has taken control and passed Henry Owens on the depth chart to get a look with the big league club.
John Farrell has taken notice of Johnson but said nothing has changed as of yet with his rotation. Ben Cherington was in town the last time Johnson pitched so take that as you will.
One other notable named to the International League All-Star team is former PawSox pitcher Michael Bowden who is with the Norfolk Tides, (Orioles AAA) who never really got to make a name for himself with the Red Sox a few years back out of their bullpen.