MINNEAPOLIS -- The A's are taking the closer's role away from Jim Johnson for the time being and will use a committee of Luke Gregerson, Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Dan Otero in that role.
On Wednesday, for the third time in five appearances this season, Johnson was ineffective. Given a 4-2, ninth-inning lead to protect against the Minnesota Twins, he allowed four of the five batters he faced to reach base before being replaced by Otero. The A's won 7-4 in 11 innings, with Otero pitching the final 2 2/3 innings.
"We're going to give Jim a break from closing," manager Bob Melvin said Thursday. "There's no timetable, and I'm not going to say that I'll be looking to give him a soft landing. We just want to let him get straightened out. And we have plenty of guys to do this."
Said Johnson, "You've got to do what's best for the team, and Bob's the manager. Obviously it's not an ideal situation, but I'll fight to get through it ."
Johnson, 30, combined for 101 saves the previous two years with the Baltimore Orioles, whom the A's obtained him from during the off-season. With the A's, Johnson is 0-2 with one blown save and an 18.90 ERA. Otero got the blown save against the Twins on Wednesday when he gave up a bases-loaded sacrifice fly while wriggling out of the mess created by Johnson.