From MASN’s Roch Kubatko comes word that Orioles closer Jim Johnson has been bothered recently by back tightness and is one week behind the other pitchers in big league camp.
But there isn’t much concern about his ability to get back near full health by the start of the season.
Johnson said the condition is “subsiding.” And as a reliever with little need for a major Grapefruit League innings total, he should be able to play catch-up rather easily.
The 28-year-old right-hander posted a cool 2.67 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 69 appearances last season, striking out 58 batters and issuing only 21 walks in 91 innings. He’ll be saving games for Baltimore this year.
The Pawtucket Red Sox, obviously the Triple-A affiliate of the Red Sox, have come up with an interesting promotion for the weekend of May 5 and 6, when they host the Yankees’ Triple-A team from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
This, of course, references last week’s benches-clearing fracas between the Red Sox and Yankees that involved Joe Kelly and Tyler Austin. Kelly slid hard into second base, which upset Brock Holt. The benches emptied as the two jawed at each other, but no punches were thrown. Later in the game, Kelly threw at Austin and the benches emptied again. Punches were thrown this time and both players were given suspensions.
The major league Red Sox visit the Yankees May 8-10. As far as we’re aware, people named Joe or Kelly are allowed to attend.