MLB In Full Bloom - Will Jim Johnson Continue to Close? - 4/10/2014

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Jim Johnson ran into more trouble Wednesday at Minnesota’s Target Field as he gave up two runs on two hits and two walks to blow a 4-2 ninth-inning lead for the Athletics. Oakland rallied in extra innings to pull out a 7-4 victory over the host Twins. After the latest poor outing by Johnson, A’s manager Bob Melvin has removed him from the closer role. Johnson was acquired this winter from the Orioles for second base prospect Jemile Weeks and has been downright horrendous. Johnson has given up nine hits, six walks, and seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings with the A’s. Ryan Cook was activated from the disabled list and should be owned in AL-Only leagues and deep mixed fantasy leagues. Cook owns a respectable 2.53 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 149 1/3 career major league innings. Luke Gregerson could also get some save opportunities as well.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Josh Hamilton (thumb) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday and will have surgery on his left thumb. Hamilton is expected to need 6-to-8 weeks to recover. J.B. Shuck was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to take Hamilton's spot on the active roster. Shuck batted .293 last year and put together a solid spring training, yet the Angels still demoted the outfielder to the minors. Over the next few months while Hamilton is out the disabled list, Shuck should get platoon with Collin Cowgill in left field.
  • Jayson Werth went 1-for-5 on Wednesday night against the Miami Marlins. However, Werth's one hit was perfectly timed as his go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning pushed the Nationals to victory over the Marlins. The Nationals were trailing 7-6, but Carlos Marmol wasn't effective and Werth took Marmol deep with the home run. Werth finished with five RBI on the night, having also driven in a run on a ground out earlier in the game. He is now hitting .345 this season.
  • Taijuan Walker (shoulder) struck out 10 hitters over five scoreless innings in a rehab start with Double-A Jackson on Wednesday. Walker needed 84 pitches to get through five innings as he gave up just three hits and a walk. Since James Paxton is hitting the shelf due to a strained left lat, this may have been Walker's last rehab start before rejoining the Mariners.
  • Ervin Santana was brilliant in his Braves debut on Wednesday night as he shut out the New York Mets over eight innings and earned the victory. Santana allowed only three hits, struck out six, and walked none. If he can continue pitching like he did in 2013, when he finished with a 3.24 ERA, the Braves may be able to overcome their health problems.
  • Josh Collmenter was credited with a save against the Giants Wednesday night. The save was of the rare four inning variety. Collmenter came in in the sixth inning and pitched four scoreless innings while striking out four batters as the Diamondbacks intend to put him into the starting rotation in the near future. Trevor Cahill or Randall Delgado are both candidates to lose their spot in the rotation and move to the bullpen. Both Cahill and Delgado are scheduled to make their next start before a decision is made by manager Kirk Gibson.
  • Joe Nathan allowed three earned runs to the Dodgers Wednesday in route to his second blown save and second win of the season. Nathan is off to a horrible start to this year. Along with the two blown saves, he also has a 12.27 ERA. Nathan told the media after the game that  he had "dead arm" before Wednesday's game. Nathan's job is safe despite the struggles so far this year.
  • Rex Brothers picked up the win on Wednesday in relief over the White Sox. Brothers closed out the top of the eighth with two quick outs, the Rockies responded with six runs in the bottom of the inning to give the reliever an easy victory. Although the win was fluky, it at least helped out fantasy owners holding on to Brothers in anticipation of him landing the closing gig from LaTroy Hawkins falters, which will most certainly happen this season.