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I'm pretty sure Jim Johnson has been paying attention the last few weeks, so it probably didn't come as a big surprise to him that he is going back to the eighth-inning setup role this season, but manager Dave Trembley took him aside this morning just to make sure he understood why the club brought Mike Gonzalez in to be the regular closer.

"I just wanted to let him know, so when he gets asked about it, he doesn't have to be uncomfortable,'' Trembley said.

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Johnson moved into the closer role when the Orioles traded George Sherrill to the Dodgers, but he (Johnson) wasn't the same pitcher in the ninth inning that he had been in the eighth. Club officials, in retrospect, felt he just tried too hard to fill Sherrill's shoes and got away from the approach that made him successful as a setup guy.

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