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Orioles: Jim Johnson update

Just got this from Orioles beat writer Jeff Zrebiec:

Orioles reliever Jim Johnson emerged from a 21-pitch batting practice session on Saturday feeling good, and more confident than ever that he'll be ready for Opening Day. Facing teammates Ty Wigginton, Ryan Freel and Luke Scott, Johnson threw all his pitches for strikes and experienced no discomfort in his right shoulder.

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"I was happy with how things went," said Johnson, who had been shut down for about two weeks with shoulder tendonitis. "I still need to tighten up on command a little bit. It wasn't where I need to be, but I'll get it back in my next outing, and it will get better every time out."

Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz said that Johnson will pitch in a game on either Monday or Tuesday, depending on how he bounces back from Saturday's session. Johnson hasn't pitched in a game since March 11. Manager Dave Trembley indicated it would probably be Tuesday and, if all goes well, Thursday and Saturday.

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"In his bullpen, he was a little out of sync, but as soon as he got on the hill, it looked like everything came back to him and he started focusing," Kranitz said. "It was pretty good, pretty encouraging."

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