Red Sox release former first-rounder Kris Johnson

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Red Sox release former first-rounder Kris Johnson

The Red Sox officially parted ways with left-hander Kris Johnson, the 40th overall selection in the 2006 MLB Draft class, on Tuesday.

Johnson made a name for himself at Wichita State, but his transition into AAA Pawtucket three years later was not a good one.

In 2009, Johnson went 3-13 in 22 starts. He posted a 6.35 ERA in 96.1 innings of work, giving up 128 hits, walking 44, and striking out just 65 batters.

In 2010 he wasn't much better. He ended up 6-13 with a 4.88 ERA in 28 games (132.2 innings). He gave up 152 hits -- 15 of which were home runs -- and walked 52 batters.

Still, the Sox kept Johnson around, hoping he could show signs of improvement this season.

That didn't happen.

Johnson played in eight games, three of which were starts -- all of which went poorly. His first start of the season lasted just 2.1 innings, as he gave up seven runs (six earned), eight hits, and a walk. He followed that game up with a five-inning win, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk.

Johnson was then relegated to a reliever role for five games before returning for this third start of the season.

It ended even worse than his first start did.

Johnson went just 2.0 innings giving up seven earned runs on eight hits, two of which were home runs.

It would be the last game Johnson played wearing a PawSox uniform, leaving with a 12.63 ERA and a 2-2 record.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.