DETROIT -- Jim Johnson's audition at Triple-A Toledo is going to last a little bit longer. However, it was Johnson's decision to hold off on an expected return to the big leagues.
The Tigers signed Johnson to a Minor League contract with the understanding that they'd evaluate his status after three outings with the Mud Hens. Johnson threw two perfect innings Wednesday night in his third outing, well enough that he seemed on the verge of a callup when Buck Farmer was sent down.
Johnson, however, wanted another outing.
"Jim threw well in Toledo [Wednesday night]," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "But at Jim's request, he wanted another outing, which is a good sign because I think he's got an understanding of the big picture. So we're going to get him another outing before bringing him up."
Instead, the Tigers called up Melvin Mercedes as an extra reliever.
"He'll be here until something else changes," Ausmus said.
Johnson signed with the Tigers after being released by Oakland, where Johnson's struggles sent him from Opening Day closer to the far end of the bullpen. The Tigers took a chance on Johnson, noting his velocity was still near full strength.