Padres fans, if you were upset that A.J. Preller traded away James Shields to the White Sox, you may cringe when you read the next sentence.
As bad as Shields has been for Chicago (21 earned runs in three dreadul outings), Erik Johnson has struggled in his own right since he and minor leaguer Fernando Tatis Jr. switched organizations as part of that deal.
Johnson is still searching for that elusive first victory since joining the Padres and after Wednesday’s 7-2 loss in Baltimore, his record with his new team slumped to 0-3.
The right-hander’s ERA since joining San Diego is now a shaky 9.82 after facing the power hitters in the Orioles lineup.
Baltimore leads the majors with 111 home runs and the latest long balls came from Mark Trumbo and Ryan Flaherty. Both sluggers tagged Johnson for a solo shot to help the Orioles offense open up a 4-2 lead.
Flaherty’s homer in the 5th started a parade of Orioles around the bases and ultimately caused Andy Green to pull Johnson from the game.
Johnson lasted four-plus innings and allowed six earned runs on nine hits.
On the other side, Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez struck out seven batters in six innings and handled the majority of the Friars lineup with ease. Despite four walks, the righty limited the Padres to just two Travis Jankowski base knocks and a pair of Matt Kemp RBI singles.
Outside of those two outfielders, Christian Bethancourt was the only other Padre to contribute a hit which came later on an infield single in the 9th.
The early returns on Johnson do not appear to be very encouraging. He’s allowed five or more earned runs and at least two homers in all three starts with San Diego.
He’s made it to the 6th inning just once in those three outings. Before the trade, Johnson also lost both of his starts with the White Sox and gave up five homers over 11.2 innings.
Johnson may ultimately be what I like to call a Quadruple-A player – someone who constantly moves back and forth between the bigs and Triple-A.
Sometimes these players tweak a part of their delivery or change their swing and everything clicks.
Usually, the quintessential Quadruple-A player shows enough talent to outgrow the farm system but cannot be consistent enough to stick long-term in the majors.
San Diego tries to regroup Thursday in Cincinnati when Christian Friedrich opposes Reds starter John Lamb at 4:10 p.m.