Johnson started Thursday's game against San Francisco and struck out two while allowing one hit over one inning. He did not factor in the decision. The right-hander worked as an opener for the first time in September and set the Padres off on the right foot, punching out a pair while allowing an infield single after hitting a batter in the first inning. Johnson has posted a 2.92 ERA and 1.20 WHIP along with a 69:24 K:BB across 52.1 frames this season.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Johnson would serve as the team's opening pitcher in a bullpen game Thursday in San Francisco, Dennis Lin of The Athletic reports. Over the past four days, Johnson has made two relief appearances and tossed 33 pitches in total, so the Padres likely won't ask him to cover more than one or two innings Thursday before turning the game over to the bullpen. The Padres don't have an obvious primary pitcher to follow Johnson, making it difficult to predict which reliever is most likely to factor into a decision.
Johnson (3-3) was tagged with the loss Tuesday against the Dodgers after allowing one run on one hit and a walk while fanning two across one inning. Johnson worked as the opener in this bullpen game but continued his season-long trend, as he hasn't pitched more than one inning in any of his 49 appearances on the year. Despite that fact, it's worth noting Johnson has recorded multiple strikeouts in six of his last eight outings and owns a 13:4 K:BB in 7.2 innings over that span.
Johnson will start Tuesday's game against the Dodgers. The right-hander has yet to log multiple frames during any of his 48 appearances this season, so it's unlikely that San Diego will ask him to work past the first inning. Nabil Crismatt is a candidate to provide length after Johnson in what figures to be some form of a bullpen game. It's also possible the club makes a transaction prior to first pitch to have another multi-inning arm available.
Johnson (triceps) was activated from the 10-day injured list ahead of Tuesday's game against the Reds. Johnson was placed on the IL with triceps inflammation June 19 but was able to throw a bullpen a week later. He's now set to rejoin the San Diego bullpen after a minimal stay on the IL. The right-hander holds a 3.57 ERA and 32:9 K:BB across 22.2 innings this season.
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