BALTIMORE – Steve Johnson is ready for his first major appearance in nearly two years. Johnson is spending Monday night on the taxi squad and will be added to the active roster on Tuesday when rosters are expanded.
Johnson’s contract will be purchased from Triple-A Norfolk. He was 4-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 32 starts with the Tides.
In 21 appearances with the Orioles in 2012 and 2013, Johnson is 5-1 with a 3.67 ERA.
He’s had a variety of injuries since then, and the Orioles are hoping he can recapture what made him effective in 2012 when he was 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA.
“I wasn’t really expecting it yesterday. It really surprised me a little bit. I was hoping for a September callup. I was pitching well. I’m glad it happened,” Johnson said.
Last September, Johnson had bone chips removed from his left shoulder.
“I’m finally healthy. I worked on the delivery in spring training after the surgery. Finally, got in a groove and just tried to stay with it. I had a little setback in June with my oblique, but once I came back, I felt great,” Johnson said.
In 2014, Johnson didn’t win a game in 16 starts at three levels.
“Last year was really frustrating for me with injuries. I didn’t pitch well. Coming back and establishing myself and proving that I can be back here, that would mean a lot,” Johnson said.
Johnson could have signed elsewhere, but chose a minor league contract with the Orioles.
“It was a little frustrating, but you know if you pitch well enough, long enough, they’ll eventually call your name if they like me,” Johnson said. “It finally happened, and I’m pretty happy about it.”