STARKVILLE, Miss. – Alan Johnson‘s second professional baseball pitching assignment of
the 2011 season could be his first on the Major League level.
The former Mississippi State pitcher from Birmingham, Ala., is listed as the Colorado Rockies‘ probable starter for Sunday’s home game against the Chicago Cubs after his minor league contract was purchased Thursday by Colorado. The Rockies optioned pitcher Greg Reynolds to Class AAA Colorado Springs and transferred another right-hander, Aaron Cook, to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Johnson on Colorado’s 40-man roster.
He becomes the 47th baseball player with Mississippi State ties to advance to the highest level of professional baseball and joins three other former Diamond Dog players —- pitchers
Paul Maholm (Pittsburgh) and Jonathan Papelbon (Boston) and first baseman Mitch Moreland (Texas) currently active on the Major League level. Former Diamond Dog Nat (Buck) Showalter joins that foursome in MLB as the manager of the Baltimore Orioles.
Johnson, 27, lettered at Mississippi State from 2003 to 2005 and signed as a free agent with the Colorado Rockies following the 2005 campaign. He began his seventh year in professional baseball and his third season in the starting rotation of the Class AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox April 8.
In three seasons at Mississippi State, Johnson appeared in 44 games, drawing 43 starts and compiling a 13-15 record with 177 strikeouts and a 4.82 career earned run. He was honored as the SEC Pitcher of the Week three times in 2003, twice after complete-game shutout pitching performances against Ole Miss and LSU. Johnson was 10-8 with a 5.91 ERA last year in Colorado Springs and has compiled a 56-42 record with a 4.55 earned run average and 598 strikeouts during his career in minor league baseball.