WASHINGTON – For the final 13 games of the season, Norfolk manager Ron Johnson is helping the Orioles out. Johnson, in his fourth season as Norfolk’s manager, guided the Tides to the playoffs in 2015.
“It was probably one of the most fun teams I ever managed,” Johnson a veteran of two decades of minor league managing.
Johnson’s job is a difficult one because he has to juggle lineups and pitchers continually since many calls are not his, but the Orioles’.
“I hate to say it’s a challenge because that’s the job I signed up for. You know what you’re getting into. We know what the purpose of the job is, to get guys up here,” Johnson said. “We were able to do that. A lot of them came up here and had success, which is basically what I’m down there to do.”
Fourteen of the 34 players with the Orioles were on Norfolk, and two others, Ryan Flaherty and Matt Wieters were there on rehab assignments.
One of those was Paul Janish, who Johnson said was the team’s MVP because the shortstop anchored an improved defense.
“He’s a game-changer with the glove,” Johnson said.
With all the Tides who are with the Orioles now, is there a sleeper who isn’t?
“I think Rey Navarro finished up extremely well for us down there,” Johnson said. “It was interesting not only to watch him play not only second base, but a lot of shortstop down the stretch.”
Johnson says he likes what he sees with the Orioles already.
“I think we have a lot of sleepers who are already here. The whole idea here is to see how they fit and how they’re going to help the Baltimore Orioles be a first division club. I think they’re in this room right here,” Johnson said.
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