According to a report, the Oakland Athletics have dropped Jim Johnson from the closer’s role and will use a committee approach to closing out games for the foreseeable future.
Jane Lee of MLB.com reported via Twitter:
Melvin: “We’re going to give Jim a break” from the ninth. Now closer by committee: Doolittle, Gregerson, Cook, Otero all options.
— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) April 10, 2014
Johnson has been a disaster in the early going, recording an 18.90 ERA and 4.50 WHIP in five appearances this season. He has one save, two losses and has allowed at least one baserunner in every appearance so far.
The rest of the bullpen has been fine so far; relievers not named “Jim Johnson” have allowed three earned runs in 26.2 innings (an ERA of 1.01), while Johnson has been tagged with seven earned runs in 3.1 innings.
Johnson led all of baseball in saves each of the last two seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, but blew nine save chances in 2013, including stretches where he blew four out of five saves and another where he coughed up three straight.
As far as the other closing options go, Cook has the most experience in the role.
As a rookie in 2012, he had 14 saves in 21 chances and made the All-Star Game before he was replaced as the closer by Grant Balfour. He had two saves last season.
Gregerson has 16 career saves in this, his sixth season. He had nine saves in 2012 while filling in when Huston Street was sidelined.
Doolittle had three saves in 2012-13, two last year.
Otero has not recorded a save at the major league level, but he had 15 in 23 appearances for Triple-A Sacramento in 2013.