Q&a -- Jim Johnson

March 08, 2007|By ROCH KUBATKO

One year after being named the organization's minor league Pitcher of the Year, Jim Johnson was recalled from Double-A Bowie on July 29 to make an emergency start for the Orioles. A native of Johnson City, N.Y., he allowed eight runs in three innings and was optioned the next day, but he's still regarded as a prospect who could be a reliever in the majors if the rotation is set. Johnson led Bowie in wins (13), innings (156) and strikeouts (124) last season.

Giants or Jets? -- Giants. When I was growing up, it was either Giants or Bills, and I went with the Giants.

How do you describe the feeling of going from Double-A to the majors? -- It happened pretty quick. It's kind of like a surreal moment when you're standing there on the mound. You work so hard to get to that point and you're finally there. It's like, "All right, now it's time to go to work." It was a fun time, that's for sure.

Did your teammates at Bowie ask about being in The Show? -- They had a lot of guys who had some major league experience. It was good because they could offer advice about certain things to look for, how you're supposed to go about your business. Their role there was to help the other guys on the team to try to get to the major league level. It's not like they didn't understand what was going on. I know they were watching the game and cheering for me.

What's the one big difference between major league and minor league life? -- I wasn't there very long, but everything is a little bit better, a little bit nicer. The uniforms ... everything. The game itself is better. The guys don't miss pitches.

Do you have another nickname besides the obvious J.J.? -- Not really. Not a PG-13 one. I've been called a few things I can't repeat. That's usually how it works.

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