Comebacker hits prospect Johnson at Fenway
Taken 31st overall in June, lefty sustains several fractures to face
BOSTON -- Brian Johnson was supposed to pitch two innings in his start on Saturday. Instead, the left-hander exited the Futures at Fenway game on a stretcher after being hit in the face by a line drive on the second pitch he threw.
Johnson, a first-round pick (No. 31 overall) of the Red Sox in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, suffered multiple orbital bone fractures on the left side of his face. He did not show signs of a concussion, though, and is recovering at a Boston-area hospital.
The lefty was making his fourth professional start for Class A Lowell. The Spinners played the Hudson Valley Renegades (Tampa Bay) in the first game of this year's Futures at Fenway event. Hudson Valley won, 6-5.
Joey Rickard lined the second pitch he saw back up the middle and hit caught Johnson squarely in the face. Johnson crumpled to the ground in pain and stayed there for several minutes while the training staff tended to him. "Not a pretty sight," Lowell manager Bruce Crabbe said. "It hit him right underneath the eye."
Johnson was eventually transferred to a stretcher. As he was carted off the field, the lefty waved to the fans.
"There was no blood or anything and he wasn't unconscious, so that's a good sign," Crabbe said. "We'll just have to wait and see what the doctors say."
Johnson entered Saturday having thrown 5 1/3 scoreless innings across three professional starts. He was also struck below the waist by a line drive in his pro debut on July 29 and left that outing after 1 1/3 innings.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.