MINNEAPOLIS -- The Oakland Athletics brought Jim Johnson into their bullpen when they lost All-Star closer Grant Balfour in free agency. Kevin Knox Jersey . Two weeks into the season, Johnson is 0-2 with an 18.90 ERA and one blown save in five appearances for the Athletics. Manager Bob Melvin couldnt afford to wait while the former Orioles closer got into a groove, removing him from that role on Thursday. Melvin will proceed with a closer-by-committee approach. "Theres no timetable," Melvin told As beat writers before the team played their series finale against the Minnesota Twins. "Lets just get him straightened out. And we have plenty of options. Thats the good thing about our team, our versatility. Well play it by ear based on how the games going, whos available on that particular day." Hes allowed at least two runs in three of his five appearances, his seven total runs allowed is tied for the most in the AL among relievers. Hes allowed more walks and hits than any other reliever in the league. Its a far cry from the dominant reliever who saved 50 games for the Orioles last season, tied with Atlantas Craig Kimbrel for the most in the majors. The As were in the market when Balfour, who had 38 saves last year to help Oakland win its second straight AL West title, signed with the Tampa Bay Rays over the winter. Johnson is making $10 million and will be a free agent at the end of this season, but the As can take heart that he has recovered from similar funks before to post solid seasons. Last year, he was charged with three losses and four of his nine total blown saves during a tough six-game stretch in the middle of May. He allowed 12 runs over five innings in that stretch, but posted a 1.52 ERA in his other 69 appearances. Oakland will use Dan Otero, Ryan Cook, Luke Gregorson and Sean Doolittle in save situations, depending on the matchup. Noah Vonleh Jersey . You can, too, Clay Buchholz, if we ignore the sixth inning of Game 2. Doug Fister and Jake Peavy, youre up next in Game 4 and theres a lot to live up to. Phil Jackson Jersey .5 million, four-year contract with the Texas Rangers that could be worth $32. http://www.officialknicksfanstore.com/kids-walt-frazier-knicks-jersey/ .C. -- The RBC Cups semifinal participants were decided by a pair of overtime games.Despite just one regulation win in their last 15 games, Dave Nonis re-iterated that he is committed to both Randy Carlyles coaching staff and to supporting the teams young players, particularly Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner. Speaking Thursday on TSN 1050 Thursday, the Leafs GM also touched on the questions surrounding the teams leadership and the struggles of his big-name free-agent signing. “Its not from lack of effort from the coaching staff. Randy didnt get stupid overnight, hes a heck of a coach,” Nonis said, pointing out that he felt the Carlyle-led staff was the biggest reason the team broke its nearly decade-long post-season drought last year, adding that rumblings about his job security are “completely unfounded.” The GM, still in his first year on the job after taking over on January 9 from Brian Burke, named “consistency” as the teams biggest concern 36 games into the season. “Its not that we havent seen high-level play from them, its that it hasnt happened on a 60-minute basis very often, and it hasnt happened on a nightly basis and that has to change if we want to turn this around. Despite the ongoing struggles, Nonis has been encouraged by the play of the Leafs youngsters, particularly on the back-end. “One of the bright spot of our slide has been the play of our young players,” Nonis said, noting that Gardiner and Rielly “are the future of our team.” The decision to keep Rielly was one the Leafs brass had battled with all season, but with the 19-year-old demonstrating that he was one of the teams “top two or three defenceman over the last five games,” the choice was made to allow him to develop his game in the NHL. “His play dictated that he was going to be (with the Leafs moving forward),” Nonis said, while also mentioning that he expects both Rielly and Gardiner to keep playing on a regular basis. Furthering his commitment to the teams youth, Nonis made it known that the Leafs are going to have to live with the mistakes made by players like Rielly and Gardiner if the team wants them to develop properly. Enes Kanter Jersey. “Theres very few young defencemen in this league that dont make mistakes, particularly ones that are offensive minded like Jake,” Nonis explained. “Jake has a bit of a gamblers mentality and thats what makes him special and what makes him dangerous and it also causes some turnovers.” Asked about whether he has explored trade possibilities, Nonis said he is having discussions but is not willing to pull the trigger on deals which would negatively impact his teams future. “If the moves available are going to hurt your team long-term, then theres absolutely no reason to make any of those moves.” Regarding questions about the teams leadership, Nonis gave his captain a strong vote of confidence, while also saying the loss of veteran centre Dave Bolland may have had a bigger impact than many thought. “Dion has probably played the best hockey he has as a Leaf, this year,” Nonis said. “The one guy that I think weve really missed in terms of how he plays the game in terms of what he brought to us early on is Dave Bolland. He was a catalyst early on for our team and I think a lot of the players were following him.” Touching on his big free-agent acquisition David Clarkson, Nonis explained he isnt expecting the $5.2-million-a-year winger to replicate the 30-goal season he had with the Devils in 2011-12, but does need him to provide something more than what he has demonstrated thus far. “We need David Clarkson to be David Clarkson. I dont think hes a 30-goal scorer, we said that when we signed him. 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