Showalter says Orioles not overusing Johnson

Showalter says Orioles not overusing Johnson
May 31, 2013, 5:00 pm
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Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Jim Johnson (43) pitches during the ninth inning of game three of the 2012 ALDS against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Yankees won 3-2 in twelve innings.

(Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE)

BALTIMORE – Entering Friday’s game, Jim Johnson is tied for second in the American League with 27 appearances. That would project to 81 games.

Last year, the Orioles didn’t have a leader in appearances. Johnson had 71.

“I think we’ve had one time where we’ve pitched him to get work. The rest of them have been save situations. How do you combat that? If you don’t have save situations, there are two ways to keep that from happening, being ahead more or being behind,” manager Buck Showalter said.

“Some of them have been tie game in the ninth. I feel real good about the rest and when we use him.”

Darren O’Day, who pitched in 69 games last year, has already been in 25, and Brian Matusz, in his first full year in the bullpen, has worked in 24. They’re on pace for 75 and 72, respectively.

“As the season goes on, I’d like to think we have nobody in the league leaders,” Showalter said.

“I think it will even out, I hope, because we’re able to use multiple people.”

NOTES: The Orioles will begin Pedro Strop’s rehab from his lower back strain with a simulated game and then a rehab assignment. Strop is eligible to return from the disabled list a week from now.

-Taylor Teagarden begins his rehab with Norfolk by catching Tsuyoshi Wada and batting third.