"He looked good, he was strong, looked very similar to the guy that we've seen over the past few years," Ausmus said. "And I think he's anxious to get out and face some hitters."
Johnson will get that chance at Triple-A Toledo, where he's expected to make a couple outings before being promoted to the Majors.
The Tigers signed Johnson to a Minor League contract on Tuesday, giving him another chance to return to the form that made him one of the league's best relievers. He posted back-to-back seasons with 50 saves in 2012 and '13 for Baltimore, but he had a 7.14 ERA during 38 games with Oakland this year before his release.
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.