The Hiroshima Carp may not have Kenta Maeda any longer, but they still have Kris Johnson, and the West Covina, California, native is no mere consolation prize.

Johnson is in his second season with the Carp after leading NPB with a 1.85 ERA (in 194⅓ innings) last year, his first in Japan, and finishing tied for the second-most victories with 14. He also struck out 150, eighth-most in NPB.

The 31-year-old has picked up where he left off. Johnson is 2-1 through four starts this year with a 1.53 ERA. He's also struck out 27 batters. He attributes his nice start to simply sticking to what's been working and not deviating from that path too much.