Johnson Perfect for Six

Myworld has returned from our three park minor league jaunt. We’re a little late with the minor league review. The pitchers were dominant in the minor league performances yesterday.

The Red Sox could use some pitchers. Brian Johnson is a pretty good pitcher. Yesterday he was perfect for six innings, striking out half the hitters he faced (9). He has had two clunkers in May but in his four other starts he has given up just one run or less in six or more innings. His April ERA for four starts was a sterling 0.86, bringing his overall ERA to 2.60. Lefthanders are only hitting .160 in at bats against the Red Sox 2012 first round pick.

Cody Martin was close to perfect in his start in AAA. The Braves began the season with Cody in their major league bullpen but after blowing two saves in two appearances demoted him to AAA to return him to the rotation. He has only give up one run in his nine plus innings of AAA work for a 0.96 ERA. With the Braves he gave up four homeruns in just 20 innings of work. No one has cleared the fence off him in AAA.

The Reds Robert Stephenson has some lightening in his fastball. After a slow start when his ERA was up at 8.31 the Reds first round pick of 2011 has settled down a bit. This is his third season in AA so the Reds expect some improvement. Yesterday he threw seven innings of three hit shutout ball, striking out 10, lowering his ERA to 4.47. In his previous outing he had struck out 11 of the 21 hitters he faced but a high walk count (5) put him over 100 pitches before the fifth inning ended.

The Dodgers Jose Deleon keeps appearing here because of his high strikeout counts. In his second AA start he struck out 11 in seven innings, allowing just three hits and one run. It was his fourth start with double digit strikeout numbers. His 77 whiffs in nine starts leads the minor leagues.

The Yankees Bryan Mitchel went 8 innings without allowing a run, giving up just two hits. The strikeout numbers were not there (4) but that is not his thing. Batters are only hitting .224 against him and are slugging less than .300. He has yet to give up a homerun in his 50 innings of work. One stinker of an outing has kept his ERA at 3.20. Take away that one start and it would sit at an impressive 2.14.

The Rays Taylor Guerrieri was another pitcher with a perfect day. He only went three innings in his third start of the year, striking out five of the nine hitters he faced. In his three starts Taylor has yet to go more than three innings or face more than 13 hitters. Taylor is still recovering from the Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss the second half of the 2013 season. He started just five games last year but only worked nine innings.

On the hitting front, Reds outfielder Phillip Ervin had the only day that opened eyes. He went 4 for 6, driving in four runs. The Reds 2013 first round pick got off to a hot April, hitting .346 with seven of his nine homeruns. May has found him in a funk, hitting under .200 with only two multiple hit games. The Reds hope the 4 for 6 day will lead to a June outburst.

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