The Detroit Tigers are hoping former Oakland Athletics’ closer Jim Johnson can get back on track and stabilize the ever influx bullpen. Johnson will join the Tigers prior to today’s series finale with the Seattle Mariners.
Johnson, 31, was traded to Oakland from the Baltimore Orioles in the offseason. The righthander saved 101 games for Baltimore over the last two seasons, but lost it completely for the Athletics, posting a 7.14 ERA over 40.1 innings. He experienced a WHIP of 2.058 this season, which is nearly double his total the previous two seasons.
Released on August 1, Johnson signed a minor league deal with the Tigers four days later and was assigned to Triple-A Toledo. In four appearances with the Mud Hens, he has allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits over 4.2 innings.
To make room for Johnson on the big league roster, Melvin Mercedes will be returned to Toledo after one appearance for Detroit. The club has also designated the Mud Hens’ Kevin Whelan for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.
It’s been quite the journey for Johnson. Two years with 50 saves, traded, sucked, released, received minor league deal, pitched against a team called the “IronPigs,” and then arrives in Detroit hoping to pick up the pieces of his career.