Rob Long: Trouble Onboard
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The Baltimore Orioles have had pitching issues to say the least. If it hasn’t come from the starters, it’s come from the bullpen, namely one Jim Johnson who was, at one point, the most reliable man in the game.
J.J. has struggled in his last two appearences giving up seven runs on seven hits in an inning and a third. His ERA has gone from 0.95 to 3.98 over that span as well. Out of all of the pitchers on the O’s staff, you would think that Johnson is the guy they need more than any.
The Orioles can hit and they will hit. They will score runs whether the starters are on or not. With that glaring fact, you have to imagine the offense will get them late leads. Late leads present opportunities to close and Jim Johnson is the O’s closer. Whether it’s physical or mental, he has to fix the issue.
Recent history with Jose Valverde, Brian Wilson and Brian Fuentes suggests that leading the Majors in saves isn’t great for your career resume but Johnson was off to such a great start. Hopefully mid-May is just a hiccup for the righty.