Red Sox left-hander Brian Johnson, a first round selection by the team in this year's draft, was hit in the face by a line drive up the middle while pitching for the Short-Season Single-A Lowell Spinners on Saturday as part of the Futures at Fenway doubleheader showcase of Red Sox minor league teams. Eyewitnesses said that he had movement, but struggled to get on the stretcher without assistance. Still, he waved to the Fenway crowd before being taken to the hospital.
According to a Red Sox spokesperson, the 21-year-old out of the University of Florida suffered multiple orbital fractures to the left side of his face. However, he was alert at the hospital -- where he was resting comfortably -- and showed no signs of a concussion.
Johnson entered the game having made three scoreless appearances to start his professional career, with 5 1/3 scoreless innings on his resume. He'd struck out four, walked one and permitted two hits in Lowell.
In 2011, Johnson suffered a concussion when a throw from catcher Mike Zunino to second base clocked him in the back of the head. He was knocked unconscious and taken off the field on a stretcher. However, he bounced back and went 8-5 with a 3.90 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 90 innings while winning the John Olerud award as the top two-way player in the country (Johnson also hit .307/.350/.460).
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