The Orioles have officially added Steve Johnson to the 40-man roster today and that obviously comes as good news to the Baltimore native who is having a solid year at Triple-A.
Johnson had been on the disabled list since May 19 with a groin strain, but he came off the DL this weekend and is pitching right now for Norfolk in Game 1 of a doubleheader.
Johnson is 1-3 with an ERA of 2.62 over eight games and has a batting average against of just .191. He has given up just 30 hits over 44 2/3 innings with 13 walks and 36 strikeouts. Right-handed hitters are batting just .123 against him.
In the end, the Orioles, in my opinion, made the right move by adding Johnson. Not because he is a local kid or because his dad broadcasts for MASN, but because he pitched well enough to make the 40-man.
Had Johnson not been able to opt out of his contract, this may not have happened right now. It appears that Johnson did officially seek his release from the organization and then the club had 48 hours to decide whether to add him to the 40-man. At the end of the 48 hours, if Johnson were not added, then he could have officially taken the opt out and moved on to another organization, and there were others interested in him.
The Orioles today had to officially option Johnson to Triple-A so he now has two options remaining, one each for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. That is another reason to add Johnson. He won't be out of options before spring training in 2015, so he can go back and forth between Triple-A and the majors via options this year, next year and the season after that.
With the Orioles' rotation springing some leaks over the last few weeks, this was not the time for the team to let a pitcher throwing well at Triple-A get away and, in the end, they did not.