Bob Haynie: Jim Johnson Deserves First Half MVP
Jason Hammel has arguably been the “ace” of the O’s rotation. Chris Davis has 14 home runs, and as many wins as former Cy Young pitcher Cliff Lee. Adam Jones leads the Orioles in every almost every offensive stat, including runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, and stolen bases, but most of his productivity came early in the season and has started to taper off.
Although Adam Jones makes a good case, Jim Johnson is the most deserving Oriole to be named first-half MVP. Where would the Orioles be without him? Johnson leads Major League Baseball with the most saves this season with 26. Last year, Johnson had a 6-5 record, and successfully saved only 9 of his 14 save opportunities. Kevin Gregg saved 22 of his 29 save opportunities, and posted an atrocious 0-3 record.
The team only had eight additional save opportunities last season, of which only one was saved successfully. This year, the O’s have been able to jump out to a lead, and Johnson has been relatively lights out, converting 26 of his 27 save opportunities.