Braves lose Pierce Johnson to IL with elbow injury

MLB: JUL 31 Angels at Braves

The hits keep on coming for the Braves. Sean Murphy hasn’t played since the opening series against the Phillies after suffering an oblique injury. Spencer Strider is out for the season with a torn UCL. Ozzie Albies has also missed some time, and now Pierce Johnson is heading to the IL with elbow inflammation.

It’s just the 15-day IL for now, and I’m sure Brian Snitker will have some comments on the injury prior to tonight’s showdown with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but I don’t have to tell you how serious elbow injuries can be when it comes to pitchers. Even if Pierce Johnson does avoid the worst case scenario, Max Fried missed multiple months with elbow inflammation just last season.

It’s a tough blow for a Braves bullpen that has been fantastic through the first month-plus of the season. Pierce Johnson quickly turned into one of Brian Snitker’s most reliable arms after being acquired at the trade deadline last year, appearing 24 times and recording a 0.76 ERA with a 12.2 K/9. This season, Johnson’s pitched in 13 games with a 3.00 ERA and 12.0 K/9. However, he was on a run of seven straight appearances without allowing a run, including five in a row without allowing a hit.

The good news is the Braves have a plethora of arms down in the minors with major-league experience that can take Johnson’s place. Jackson Stephens will get the first crack, but Ken Giles, Ray Kerr, and Daysebel Hernandez all are more than capable of filling Johnson’s shoes if he’s to miss extended time. Hopefully, that’s not the case, but the Braves do have the firepower to right the ship if need be.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: