On Wednesday, the Boston Red Sox made the decision to send Brian Johnson, left-handed pitcher and former Gator, to the 10-day disabled list due to a left shoulder impingement. Curiously, the Red Sox also decided to call Austin Maddox, right-handed pitcher and another former Gator pitcher, from the the Triple-A Pawtucket to play in the majors.
Johnson was having a great 2017 season so far. He has a 2-0 record in four games started with a 4.29 ERA. Johnson also had the opportunity to have a complete game, which was a 6-0 victory against the Seattle Mariners on May 27.
— Austin Maddox (@AustinMaddox10) June 15, 2017
It has been almost five years since the Red Sox drafted Maddox in the third round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He will finally have the chance to make his major league debut. Maddox had a 12-16 record in 124 games played in his minors career after playing for six teams. He had a 4.22 ERA and 20 saves in 30 saves opportunities.
Maddox will not be the only former Gator who will have his major league debut this season. Nolan Fontana, a shortstop for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, also made his debut this season. Fontana’s first at-bat was like a dream come true for any baseball player; he hit a solo home run to the right-center field against Kyle Barraclough in a 8-5 loss to the Miami Marlins on May 26. But since then, it has been a difficult first season for Fontana. He currently has a .056 batting average in 18 at-bats. That home run has been his only hit this season so far.
Johnson, Maddox and Fontana were teammates for three seasons when they played for the Florida Gators – 2010, 2011 and 2012. Johnson had a 22-12 record in 49 plate appearances in his college career with a 3.85 ERA and 196 strikeouts; Maddox had a 6-3 record, 1.86 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 53 plate appearances in his college career; Fontana made 102 runs batted in, 17 home runs and had a .287 batting average in 715 at-bats in his college career.