Baseball / Japanese Baseball

Carp pitcher Johnson remains sidelined by illness

Kyodo

Hiroshima Carp workhorse Kris Johnson, winner of last year’s Sawamura Award, remains unable to practice due to illness, the team’s chief trainer said Wednesday.

Johnson, who is in his third Nippon Professional Baseball season, won last year’s Sawamura Award as NPB’s most impressive starting pitcher. He was deactivated on April 5 with a throat infection and is currently resting at home.

“His fever lasted a long time and he is still under the weather,” Yoshinao Matsubara said at Mazda Stadium. “He is not able to resume practicing yet.”

The pitcher has, however, been going to the hospital, undergoing tests and waiting.

“We’re waiting on the doctor’s decision,” Matsubara said. “When we get the all clear, he’ll begin working out with the third team.”

Johnson, a former first-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox, had cups of coffee with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Minnesota Twins before coming to Japan and churning out two impressive seasons.

In his first two seasons, Johnson went 29-14 and was a big part of Hiroshima’s first Central League championship last season, its first since 1991.

In his only start this year, the lefty allowed seven runs, five earned, before leaving after 3⅔ innings.