Boston Red Sox pitching prospect Brian Johnson was pulled from a game against the Durham Bulls on Saturday due to a minor hamstring injury. The start was expected to be Johnson’s last before receiving another promotion to the Major Leagues to step into the pitching rotation for an injured Eduardo Rodriguez.
“He will probably be back in one week to 10 days,” Fantasy Doctor Dr. Selene Parekh M.D. said.
Rodriguez was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with a knee injury, but Johnson was going to make one more start before being promoted because the Boston Red Sox did not need a fifth starter until June 10. He currently boasts a 2-0 record and a 2.57 ERA in two starts this season. He is also 2-0 with a 2.72 ERA in eight starts for the team’s Triple-A affiliate Pawtucket Red Sox this season. The demotion of Johnson, after he shutout the Seattle Mariners on May 27, was strange. However, he should still be up again sometime in June if the injury proves to be minor.
The Red Sox answer to replace Rodriguez’s spot (Johnson’s projected spot too) likely lays in the minor leagues. Boston could opt to give Hector Velasquez another shot in the rotation. He was blasted for six runs in five innings against the Oakland Athletics on May 18. However, he is 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA in seven starts in Triple-A this season. He allowed three home runs against Oakland and was promptly demoted. He will not be an option in fantasy leagues until he can prove to not give up the long ball at the Major League level.
The team could also be considering seeing if veteran minor league starting pitcher Shawn Haviland could earn a start. The 31-year-old has never pitcher in the MLB, but has played minor league baseball since being drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2008. He has a 3.74 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 55 innings pitched for Pawtucket so far this season. Veteran minor league players are never the most attractive players to call-up to spot start, but this Red Sox team may just entertain the idea due to its sinking depth at starting pitcher.
Velasquez is more likely to start than Haviland, but neither are worth considering at the backend of your fantasy pitching rotation. Johnson will be worth considering once he has an opportunity to lock down a rotation spot.