Report: Pirates call up LHP Kris Johnson


In the middle of another long stretch in which the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing 13 games in 13 days, you had to figure it wouldn’t be long until they made a move to add a bullpen arm.

If reports from his agent are true, it looks like the Bucs will announce before Sunday’s series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks that they are promoting left-handed pitcher Kris Johnson from Triple-A Indianapolis.

February 17, 2013; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Kris Johnson (71) poses for photo day at Pirate City. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson will be making his MLB debut and is putting together a very nice season for Indianapolis.

The 28-year old has posted a 2.41 ERA, 90 strikeouts and 40 walks in 130.2 innings for the Indians. Throughout 20 starts and five relief appearances, the southpaw has held left-handed hitters to a .208 average and .508 OPS, allowing only one home run in 120 at-bats.

Johnson was drafted by the Red Sox with the 40th overall pick of the 2006 MLB Draft and signed a minor league deal with the Bucs in 2012.

He wasn’t very good last season, posting a 4.53 ERA in Indianapolis. But Johnson has been very good as of late. Since June 1, he has struck out 47 hitters and walked only 17, Pitcher of the Month honors for June and July.

If it is true that Johnson will be joining the team, the likely candidate to be sent down would be Bryan Morris.

The Pirates bullpen has averaged over five innings of work the past three days and Morris, who has options remaining, has had to throw 59 pitches during that span.

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