The recent MLB debut of rising star pitching prospect Erik Johnson was very much looked forward to by Chicago White Sox’ fans and personnel alike. This far though it has done nothing to diminish his promise, he has not fared well. Two starts and he hasn’t come close to a win yet. That isn’t terrible for a young starter in his first September call-up but Johnson does have a few expectations that ride along with him. Luckily he will get another chance against the Minnesota Twins in his third MLB start.
There haven’t just been a bunch of terrible innings against him but control is for sure an issue for the young starter. Chalk it up to nerves because he certainly has not had a problem with control in the past. He has thrown upwards of 100 or so pitches in each of his first two starts but only 57 to 59 percent of the time were those pitches strikes. This is not characteristic of Johnson’s history.
During his minor league career, his overall strikeout to walk ratio is 3.14. The first two starts have amounted to a 0.83 ratio. You can see easily what the problem has been thus far. It should be pointed out that his first start came against the legendary New York Yankees and the second came against one of the American League’s best teams, the Detroit Tigers. With his third start being against the Twins, he very well could be relaxed enough to trust his stuff and finally throw strikes. If he does, his first win could be on deck tonight.