Results tagged ‘ Jim Johnson ’

Quick Johnson update

Orioles setup man Jim Johnson said in a text message that his throwing session from 120 feet today went well, and he had no pain in his right elbow. Johnson has been progressing at the team’s Spring Training complex in Sarasota, Fla. and plans on throwing off the mound next week and working into games the week after that. 

Assuming there are no setbacks, that would put his return to the end of June/early July range, which is what president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said yesterday. Johnson said he’s not setting any dates and will have a better idea of where he’s at following next week’s bullpen sessions.

“I’m pretty positive about the outlook so far,” he said.

Johnson is officially on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation which includes a “low-grade tear” that the Orioles were optimistic he would be able to pitch with and avoid surgery. Johnson has said previously he had been pitching with the injury since the second game of the season in April.

He posted a 6.52 ERA and allowed 19 men to reach base in 9.2 innings before being demoted to Triple-A. He appeared in just one game with Triple-A Norfolk before he was placed on the Minor League DL, and later transferred to the Orioles DL.

Simon: A true underdog story

The Bruins just lost a 3-0 series lead and a 3-0 Game 7 lead to the Flyers, so I’m drowning my sorrows in a blog post on something non-hockey related. Alfredo Simon.

Orioles manager Dave Trembley has a soft spot for underdogs and is a big fan of Simon, who underwent Tommy John surgery last May and has served as the Orioles de facto closer, picking up five saves with Mike Gonzalez and Jim Johnson both on the disabled list.

“I would evaluate [Simon] as a guy that is an underdog who has overachieved who has proven a lot of people wrong, who has come back from a terrible injury in a record amount of time, who is as appreciative of a get-out for a second chance, ” Trembley said. “[Simon is a guy] who will do anything to pitch in the big leagues, who gives us a presence in that role physically and mentally.
 
“He’s not afraid. He likes what he’s doing. He has fun with it. I know he keeps you on the edge of your seat sometimes. Some of the clubs test him. They wait him out and make him throw a lot of pitches, but he’s gotten the job done against some very, very good teams. And for a guy who’s never closed before, he’s been pretty darn good,” Trembley added.  “But there’s a long way to go. There will be some slipups along the way by him, by me, by all of us, but it won’t change my opinion of him right now.”
 
“I’m just amazed by the fact that he’s been so resilient in a role that he’s never done. It’s not only different physically, but it’s different mentally.”

I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about what happens when Gonzalez comes back. Does he take the closer role from Simon? It’s tough to say, and Trembley hasn’t really given a definitive answer. I would think they would bring back Gonzalez in more of a setup role until he proves to be back on track. You can’t mess with what works and right now Simon is getting the job done. And he’s giving Orioles fans a mini-panic attack in the process. But you can’t argue with results.

Tillman impressive again

It wasn’t exactly a great Mother’s Day for the O’s, who dropped Sunday’s finale to the Twins and had news break pregame that Jim Johnson is off to see Dr. James Andrews.

So here’s something to make you smile: Chris Tillman.

No, it wasn’t another no-hitter. But Tillman struck out a season-high 10 batters in seven strong innings to anchor Triple-A Norfolk’s 4-1 win over Toledo Sunday afternoon.

Tillman (3-3), earned his third straight victory and lowered his ERA to 3.49 in the process. The 22-year-old yielded just one walk and four hits, and each of the final six outs he recorded came via a strikeout.
 
Tillman faced just four batters over the minimum, throwing 62 of his 96 pitches for strikes.  He’s now gone 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA, 24 strikeouts, four walks and 19 hits allowed over his last four starts.
 
Pretty impressive. Although, I don’t think we see Tillman or Jake Arrieta until the O’s make some moves to help the offense. But they’re both certainly making a case to join the big league club sooner rather than later.

MacPhail, Trembley on JJ

By now you probably know that Jim Johnson has been placed on Triple-A Norfolk’s disabled list with a right elbow injury diagnosed as a strained ulnar collateral ligament by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens. Johnson will seek a second opinion with Dr. James Andrews sometime this week for an injury he has reportedly dealt with (quietly) since the beginning of the season.
 
“I’m not terribly worried,” president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said. “Our prognosis is going to be that he’s going to have to rest for a few weeks. Generally, the second opinion verifies the first, but we’ll get the second opinion for verification.”

What was the first opinion?

“The prognosis is that he probably needs to rest it a few weeks and then start a throwing program,” MacPhail said. “There’s no need for surgery, which is good news on the first opinion. We’ll just get him back when he’s healthy. It’s a strain, but it was explained to me that it’s not in the area that indicates, ‘Oh my gosh, we have a problem.’ It’s in an area where if you let it rest for a while, it’s going to be fine.”

MacPhail said he wasn’t aware of Johnson’s injury until recent days, but wasn’t ready to push the panic button just yet.
 
“Jim Johnson is a terrific kid and a good competitor, but you have to be smart with what it is,” MacPhail said. “We were not aware of at the time anything that is potentially harmful for him. We never would have put him in that situation. We’ll just see what the second opinion is and how things play out. Right now, I’m happy that the prognosis isn’t anything more severe than what the first opinion gives us.”

Manager Dave Trembley found out Sunday morning that Johnson would visit Andrews and was equally in the dark about the right-hander pitching through elbow discomfort.
 
“Depending on what happens here [with Andrews] it might be something where he [and] a lot of these other guys might want to reconsider [pitching hurt],” Trembley said. “It’s one thing to be a tough guy, it’s another thing to look at the best interests of the team and your career, long term and down the road.”

“I admire guys who want pt play, who understand that you are not always going to be 100 percent physically. I admire that but I’ll be interested to see how this whole thing transpires with him, to be honest with you.”

Johnson is the second Orioles reliever to see Andrews this season, with closer Mike Gonzalez (left shoulder strain) also getting a second opinion last month. Gonzalez -who is rehabbing in Sarasota, Fla. –was able to avoid surgery and the Orioles hope Johnson will be as well.

Os/Twins finale and tidbits

The Orioles will look to take three of four games this afternoon in the series finale against the Twins.

*The big pregame news was that of Jim Johnson, who was placed on the disabled list in Norfolk late last night and has been diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He will see Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion sometime this week, but the hope is he will be able to avoid surgery.
*With the Orioles slumping bats and outfielder Corey Patterson tearing up Triple-A, manager Dave Trembley hinted that there could be further roster movement for Tuesday’s homestand. Could Lou Montanez’s days be numbered? We’ll see.
*Lastly it’s Mother’s Day, so call your mom, hug your wife. Spread the love. The Orioles, like every Major League Baseball team, will hit with pink bats today to help raise breast cancer awareness. Slumping Nolan Reimold joked if he gets a hit he’s going to hit with the pink bat again Tuesday. I’ll have a full story on MLB’s efforts up post game. 

ORIOLES LINEUP:
Cesar Izturis SS
Ty Wigginton 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Miguel Tejada 3B
Matt Wieters C
Luke Scott DH
Adam Jones CF
Garrett Atkins 1B
Nolan Reimold LF

Brian Matusz LHP

TWINS LINEUP:
Denard Span CF
Nick Punto 3B
Joe Mauer DH
Justin Morneau 1B
Michael Cuddyer RF
Delmon Young LF
Wilson Ramos C
Brendan Harris SS
Alexi Casilla 2B

Nick Blackburn RHP

JJ to see Dr. Andrews

Reliever Jim Johnson will seek a second opinion on his injured right elbow this week from Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., an appointment Orioles manager Dave Trembley confirmed this morning. 

The Baltimore Sun first reported on Sunday morning that Johnson would visit the acclaimed orthopedist. The Orioles team orthopedist, Dr. John Wilckens, has told Johnson it is a strained ulnar collateral ligament.

The injury has plagued Johnson from early in the season, but says he hasn’t attributed his 1-1, 6.52 ERA to his elbow issues.

“I felt like I could have pitched through it, but obviously I wasn’t able to,” Johnson told The Sun, “I can’t straighten out my arm like I normally should be able to, and obviously that’s affected everything. I’ve been getting treatment for it since the first day of the season. But the more you throw, the worse it gets.”

The Orioles sent Johnson down to Triple-A Norfolk earlier this month to try to work through his struggles, but the pain has persisted.  He threw one scoreless inning for Norfolk on Tuesday before being placed on the team’s seven-day disabled list. Trembley said on Sunday he had no knowledge of Johnson’s injury until this morning.

Red Sox/Orioles Game 2

The Orioles have a chance for a series win tonight, with right-hander Brad Bergsen making his first start since being activated from Triple-A.

*Jim Johnson was sent down to Triple-A to make room for Bergesen

*Koji Uehara will not throw Saturday as planned, he will throw Sunday and Monday. The change is because the club wants to see him throw back-to-back days and didn’t want Koji to throw Saturday’s night game and Sunday’s day game. He could be activated after that.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Matt Wieters C
Miguel Tejada 3B
Luke Scott DH
Ty Wigginton 2B
Rhyne Hughes 1B
Nolan Reimold LF
Cesar Izturis SS

Brad Bergesen RHP

RED SOX LINEUP

Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
Kevin Youkilis 1B
J.D. Drew RF
David Ortiz DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Darnell McDonald LF
Jonathan Van Every CF

Daisuke Matsuzaka RHP

Johnson to Triple-A

Jim Johnson has been optioned back to Triple-A to make room for Saturday’s starter Brad Bergsen on the Orioles’ 25-man roster.

Johnson pitched to a 6.52 ERA with appearances in 10 games, allowing seven earned runs over 9 2/3 innings, walking four and striking out nine.
 
The 26-year-old Johnson has been largely ineffective in a myriad of roles for the Orioles and the general feeling is he needs to go down to Triple-A to get straightened out.
 
“This is a hard decision to make but I think it’s a decision that we made to help him,” pitching coach Rick Kranitz said. “So I’m certain it’s going to help him, he needs to get back to who Jim Johnson really is.”

The move is surprising given that Johnson is one of the longest-tenured Orioles and is a veteran among the relievers.  Kranitz, Johnson and manager Dave Trembley met this afternoon, with Johnson leaving before the clubhouse was open to the media. Both Trembley and Kranitz acknowledged that the decision was a difficult one, and last night’s performance was a factor. Johnson allowed a run on three hits and two walks, yielding a solo homer to J.D. Drew and loading the bases before exiting with two outs in the eighth.
 
“I thought he tried to adjust too much [to the hitters],” Kranitz said.  “You started to see too many different pitches in different counts and it’s really not Jim Johnson.  He got away from his sinker; he got away from what he loves.”

“We need him to be good. He is our main guy in the bullpen that has the experience and has done the job for us. So yeah, I do expect him to be back soon”

Orioles manager Dave Trembley echoed the sentiment and said Johnson didn’t seem surprised when he was given the news.

“I told him I was up quite late last night, very early this morning, and he said he was right there with me. He’s a pretty sharp guy,” Trembley said of Johnson.

“I told him he should be proud of what he’s done, he’s very important to us, he’s a big part of where we’re going. He should walk out of here with his head held high. He said. ‘Dave, I’ve given you everything I’ve got.’ I said, ‘I know that.’ Last night it was max effort like you get from him all the time. It just hasn’t worked right now. And it’s early enough in the season to get him out, get him straightened out and then get him back.”

Ohman/JJ face the music

Will Ohman and Jim Johnson were both right at their
lockers following Wednesday’s loss. It’s always appreciated, especially given
how they both had a hand in the O’s heartbreaking demise in the eighth. Ohman
came on with two outs and threw eight straight balls, intentionally walking Victor
Martinez and giving David Ortiz a free pass to load the bases and bring on
Johnson. The Orioles’ de facto closer, Johnson walked Adrian Beltre on five
pitches to score the game’s decisive run.

Here
are their post-game quotes, most of which didn’t make it into my game story due
to space.

Ohman

 “You
decide the game in the seventh or eighth inning, I didn’t get it done. This
isn’t anybody’s fault but mine, personally. I gave [the Red Sox] momentum when
they didn’t necessarily have it. There’s a runner on third with two outs and I
have got two chances to get a guy out and I don’t even throw a pitch close
that’s on me.”

 

What
exactly went wrong?

 “I
just stuck it up. I didn’t get it done.”

 “It’s
frustrating in that we needed a pick-me-up and I gave us a let-me-down. I
didn’t get it done. Nobody’s fault but mine.”

 “I
gave them a position where JJ had to come and pick me up and it shouldn’t have
been there. I don’t care what park we are in or who we are facing I did not get
it done.”

 

Johnson

 “We
didn’t throw a whole lot of strikes, and you obviously can’t defend against the
walks. That’s inexcusable. That’s terrible. You can’t lose a game on walking in
a guy with the bases loaded. That’s just horse[ bleep] on my part.”

 

On
how frustrating it was to see the Orioles tie the game and then have the ‘pen
give it up…

 “We
battled back, Jonesy hits the two run shot to get us back in it. We scrap, not
a favorable call during that one inning [with Reimold in the top of the eighth]
that we did score but we still grounded it out and then that eighth inning
things got away from us.

 “Look
at how many guys did we walk in the eighth inning You can’t do that. You can’t
do that at the end of the game.”

 “You’ve
got to be able to close the book on those guys, You can’t let them get on base
without swinging the bats.”

 

 Five of the Orioles’ six arms issued a walk. What was going
on?

“It’s
not like we are tryin’ to do that. We’ve got to figure it out. I’m trying to
throw a ball down the middle and it just isn’t going there. That last pitch to
Beltre. I’ve got to make him try to hit the ball and put it in play.”

Gonzo 3 weeks at least

Mike Gonzalez’s MRI didn’t show any new injuries, but it will be at least three weeks before he is back with the team. He will go to Sarasota to begin a rehab regimen for a strained left shoulder that manager Dave Trembely said he first heard of Tuesday night when Gonzo couldn’t get warm out of the bullpen.

While Gonzalez has attested all spring that he would be ready come the Major League season, Trembley did say on Thursday that there were times pitching coach Rick Kranitz sensed Gonzalez wasn’t really letting the ball go.

Only Gonzalez knows when the shoulder injury started, but right now it’s not looking good on a timetable for the O’s closer. Without Gonzalez, the team will go with matchups to fill the 9th inning void, but will rely heavily on setup man Jim Johnson.

In other injury news, Koji Uehara threw a side session today and according to Trembley the next step  will be to get up on the hill to face some live batters.

Second baseman Brian Roberts was scheduled to see the doctor again Thursday, and the team hopes to have some more details about his progression following that. 

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