Pierce Johnson

Position: RHP
Born: 05/10/91
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 200
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted in the supplemental first round (#43 overall) of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft (CHC).

Most Recent Stats at Time of Debut
2-0 with a 3.21 ERA and four saves in five opportunities at Iowa (Triple-A), striking out 21 batters while walking 11 in 14 innings, allowing 15 hits.

Info & MLB Debut Date
Recalled from Iowa May 17 when OF Jeimer Candelario was sent down.
MLB Debut Date: 05/19/17

Debut Details
May 19, in a 6-3 loss to the Brewers. The third of five pitchers, he allowed two unearned runs on two hits in one inning, walking one and striking out two. He came on to start the sixth inning in relief of left-handed reliever Mike Montgomery. With a steady rain falling, Eric Thames hit a line-drive single to center before Jonathan Villar reached on an error by left fielder Kyle Schwarber. Thames advanced to third when Schwarber made a second error on the throw in from left field, at which point due to weather play was halted for nearly two hours. Johnson returned to the mound after the delay and struck out Travis Shaw looking before Domingo Santana's single to center field scored both runners. Santana advanced to second on a throwing error by center fielder Ian Happ, the third error of the inning, and Jett Bandy was walked on four pitches before Keon Broxton struck out swinging and Orlando Arcia grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.

Player Notes
In what can only be described as a unique debut and highly unusual situation, Johnson actually came on to make his debut, then sat out a 1:59 rain delay and RETURNED to the mound. Originally taken with the 43rd overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Missouri State, Johnson had been a 15th round pick in 2009 by the Rockies but did not sign, opting instead to pursue college ball. Armed originally with a lively fastball in the mid-90s, a three-quarter slurvy breaking ball and a cutter and changeup, arm trouble and a variety of other injuries finally forced the Cubs to move him from the rotation to relief and to shelve the last two pitches and limit him to fastball and slurve. The issues with his health date back to his high school days has kept him from making it up to the bigs before this, as keeping him healthy has become the final piece of the puzzle. In 2016, Johnson struggled at Iowa in the rotation, witha bloated 7.75 ERA before another injury sidelined him. Upon his return, he moved to the pen with more success, finishing the season with a 4-6 record and 6.14 ERA in 22 games, 11 of them starts, striking out 75 and walking 43 in 63 innings. He'd gone 6-2 with a 2.08 in just 16 starts at Tennessee in 2015, limiting hitters to a .223 average as he'd struck out 72 and walked 32 in 95 innings, allowing 76 hits. His 2014 season had also been interrupted by injury, as he combined for just 20 games between Kane County (Class A) and Tennessee, posting a 2.54 ERA and limiting hitters to a .187 average as he'd struck out 89 and given up just 64 hits in 102 2/3 innings.