Orioles reach agreement with Steve Johnson

The Orioles have reached agreement with pitcher Steve Johnson on a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, allowing the Baltimore native to stay home.

Johnson, 27, is rehabbing from surgery in September to remove a bone spur behind his right shoulder. He’s been pain-free while playing catch.

The St. Paul’s graduate was bothered this summer by tendinitis in his shoulder that forced him onto the disabled list and limited him to 13 appearances at Triple-A Norfolk. His innings and pitch counts were closely monitored, but he never regained his command.

johnson-s-rear-sidebar.jpgJohnson went 0-2 with a 7.11 ERA and 2.026 WHIP in 13 starts with Norfolk. He also was 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three starts at short-season Single-A Aberdeen, and he tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings with the Gulf Coast League team.

Johnson was told after an earlier exam that he had a few small tears in his rotator cuff that were manageable with rest and rehabilitation, and he continued to pitch.

More than just a feel-good story in 2012, Johnson went 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 12 games (four starts) with the Orioles and was warming in the bullpen in the first inning of their wild card game against the Rangers. He’s 5-1 with a 3.67 ERA in 21 games (five starts) in parts of two major league seasons.

The Phillies, Mariners and Blue Jays were among the teams expressing interest in Johnson, who most likely will start the 2015 season in Norfolk’s rotation or bullpen.

Notes: Individual tickets for all 16 of the Orioles’ spring training games at Ed Smith Stadium will go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m.

Fans interested in season tickets, five-game flex-plans or group tickets, or those wishing to receive additional spring training ticket information may call the Orioles spring training office at 941-893-6300.

Spring training tickets for Orioles home games at Ed Smith Stadium may be purchased in the following ways:

Internet: Tickets can be purchased at the Orioles’ official website, www.orioles.com/spring.

Phone: Individual game tickets can be purchased by phone by calling 877-222-2802. Season, five-game flex-plans, group tickets, suites and other specialty areas are available by calling 941-893-6300.

At the ballpark: Individual game tickets can be purchased in person at Ed Smith Stadium in the Left Field Ticket Office, located at 12th St. and Tuttle Ave. The box office will be open on Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., from Jan. 26 to Feb 13.

From Feb. 16 to April 3, the box office will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is available in the East Lot, located on 12th St. and Tuttle Ave.

Travel package: The Orioles are offering the official Spring Training Travel Package that includes hotel accommodations, rental car, game tickets, an exclusive pregame brunch with select Orioles team personnel and a custom Orioles Spring Training merchandise package. For more information or to order travel packages, fans should visit www.orioles.com/springtravel or call 1-800-892-7687.

The Orioles will play their first game at Ed Smith Stadium on March 4 against the Tigers.

The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation is holding “An Evening with Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson” on Jan. 29 at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore.

Tickets are $200 and include an open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvers before the event.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting Patrick Dickerson at 410-727-1539, ext. 3033 or patrickd@baberuthmuseum.org.

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