O's Notebook: Johnson cruising of late

SAN FRANCISCO - Jim Johnson entered Friday with 39 saves, the most in major league baseball. A year ago, Johnson led the majors with 51 saves.
Last season, Johnson didn't save his 39th game until the Baltimore Orioles' 125th game. They've played 114 before Friday.
He saved 51 of 54 a year ago. This year, he's blown six saves, but has streaks of 14, 12 and he's currently on a 10-game streak of successful saves.
"I think this game lends to streakiness. It's not just one position or another. Everybody strives to be consistent and do what they do. Hitters want to be consistent at the plate and in the field and pitchers are the same way. You just keep working. You guys talk to me if I pitch bad or good, I tell you the same thing. I'm always trying to get better. No matter what the results are, I'm always trying to improve," Johnson said.
The workload doesn't bother him. He has 111 saves with the Orioles, second on the team's all-time list. The workload of a closer doesn't bother him.
"I'm used to it. I've been used to it. I train specifically to take that kind of workload and I take is serious. I'm always in the gym making sure I do what I need to do to make sure I can pitch as many days as possible during the season. Buck knows that and I think it helps him and the rest of the guys in the bullpen in that I can take the ball a good chunk of the days," Johnson said.
HAMMEL INJECTED: Jason Hammel received a cortisone injection in his right forearm by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens on Friday. Hammel, who was eligible to come off the disabled list on Tuesday, won't.
"Obviously, he's not going to make the 13th," manager Buck Showalter said.
Hammel will rest for a few days, and then try to throw again, but Showalter has no idea when the right-hander will be able to pitch again.
Wilckens consulted with Dr. James Andrews, who viewed Hammel's MRI and X-Rays. Andrews believes the Orioles are being prudent with Hammel's recovery.
"The doctors have been able to identify significant issues, so hopefully he's going to be to come back and pitch for us. We'll see how it goes, but I know he wants to come back and pitch," Orioles executive vice president for baseball operations Dan Duquette said.
Showalter said that Hammel started feeling discomfort in the starts immediately before he was placed on the disabled list.
"When this originally started, it was well," he can continue to pitch with it, it's not like acute pain with it. He was having trouble with the slider," Showalter said.
"Now looking back on it, I'm glad we did it."
REYNOLDS CHATTER: Mark Reynolds, who played the last two seasons with the Orioles, was designated for assignment on Thursday by the Cleveland Indians.
Reynolds still has lots of fans in Baltimore, who called into talk shows and tweeted their support.
Duquette was asked about the Orioles' possible interest in Reynolds and he declined comment, saying he was still Cleveland's property.
He did say the Orioles weren't desperate for another right-handed hitter. They already have Steve Pearce.
"We do have a credible right-handed hitter in Danny Valencia, who's already on the roster, who would be available for us," Duquette said.
Valencia, who's had three stints in Baltimore this season, is at Norfolk.
ODDS AND ENDS: Wilson Betemit went 2-for-4 and played third base in his rehab assignment at Gulf Coast on Friday. Showalter said that he hopes Betemit will improve enough to continue his rehab assignment at one of the higher level clubs soon. ... Saturday's game will be shown on FOX. Kenny Albert and Tim McCarver will call it.

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