O.CO COLISEUM — A’s reliever Jim Johnson was hit hard Wednesday night. Again.
Thursday morning, Johnson was sent packing.
Officially, he was designated for assignment. That’s a polite way of saying “kick rocks, bro.”
Johnson has allowed twelve runs to score in his last 4-1/3 innings pitched, and has a 6.92 ERA, highest of any major league reliever.
In a corresponding move, the team called up reliever Evan Scribner from Triple-A Sacramento. Scribner was on the opening day roster, displaced when reliever Ryan Cook who was reinstated from the disabled list in early April.
On the reliever swap, manager Bob Melvin said:
“You always need someone that’s going to give you some length. We’ve been spoon feeding (Eric) O’Flaherty a little bit with his outings, so you need a true long man at times. And that’s probably (Scribner’s) role at this point in time.”
Johnson had not been comfortable in Oakland, and one scout said he lost his deception element somewhere. He’s clearly lost his confidence, and has been relentlessly booed by A’s fans.
Johnson was jeered even more loudly than Hunter Pence during the recent Bay Bridge Series. And on one occasion, A’s fans even razzed his wife during a charity event.
If Johnson is not picked up by another team before clearing waivers, Oakland will owe him the remaining $10 million salary for 2014.