Brian Johnson apparently isn't part of the Boston Red Sox' pitching plans in 2020.
The Red Sox have released the veteran left-hander, manager Ron Roenicke confirmed to reporters Monday. Roenicke suggested Johnson requested his release so he could see the field elsewhere.
"Johnson felt like he wanted an opportunity," Roenicke said, via MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo. "Sometimes you need to go other places to get that."
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MassLive.com's Christopher Smith reported earlier in the day that Johnson left the team's alternate training site in Pawtucket to return home to Florida, and we now know why.
Johnson appeared to have a chance to crack the Red Sox' thin starting rotation before the 2020 season began. He was on Boston's 2019 Opening Day roster and made seven starts last season, posting a 6.02 ERA over 40.1 innings pitched.
The 29-year-old hasn't been called up to Boston's active roster this season, though, a sign the Red Sox don't view him as a viable option ahead of hurlers like Ryan Weber, Matt Hall, Chris Mazza, Zack Godley and Dylan Covey.
Johnson was a first-round draft pick of the Red Sox in 2012 and has spent his entire career in Boston's organization. He made his major league debut in 2015 and pitched in four different seasons for the Red Sox, compiling a 4.74 ERA over 171 innings pitched and winning a World Series with the club in 2018.