"It affected [his hamstring] me a lot just before I had taken some days. It hurt to swing, it hurt to run,"
Johnson said. "I'm not going to make the excuse, because it's ultimately, if I am good enough to play, I'm
good enough to go out there and compete.
"It's not an excuse. If I didn't feel I could go out there and play, I wouldn't play, and obviously I'm out
Johnson has been working diligently with hitting coach Dwayne Murphy to try to get back on track and may have found a positive to build on. The second baseman has recorded back-to-back multihit games in his last two
contests for the first time since June 15-16 and his three hits against the Rays in Thursday's series opener represented his first three-hit game since May 28.
"Probably in the cage, Murph has said it a couple times recently that I have taken more swings than anybody
on the team," Johnson said.
Johnson said the fact that he's putting in the work has allowed him to remain positive.
"It's easier to handle and still have fun playing," Johnson said. "If I was to come here and just sit around
and take it and didn't put in the work and preparation, I would be quitting on myself and I wouldn't be able
"I'm doing everything I can and am still going to do everything I can."
The 30-year-old is set to become a free agent at season's end for the second time in his career and his 2012
performance could potentially cost him dollars and years in the offseason. But he's trying not to worry about
"It comes up, just because the family," Johnson said when asked if he thinks about free agency. "You wonder
where you are going to be and it would be nice to know where you are going to be. I might have put more
pressure on myself last year, but this year, I'm trying not to think about it."