Steve Johnson Delivers; Manny Machado Promoted to Majors

Yesterday was one amazing night for the Orioles. Maryland native Steve Johnson – whose father Dave pitched for the team, and now works for MASN – pitched a masterful game, struck out nine, earned his first ever major victory and the Baltimore Orioles won their fifth game in a row, 9-2.

Furthermore, they swept the Seattle Mariners, and are nine games above .500 with a 60-51 record. The Oriole offense came together as they scored seven runs off former teammate Kevin Millwood in the first four innings.

With the Yankees’ struggles of late, the Orioles have pulled within 4 ½ games of the divisional lead, and are in three-way tie for the final wild card spot.

Could the improbable be possible for the Orioles this season? Could we as fans be seeing magic? Maybe they are in a hot stretch, or perhaps we are seeing the real Birds. This team has been piecing this whole season together, and what’s another move made in a long line of many?

The Orioles last night perhaps sent a warning shot to the rest of the league that they are in it as they promoted shortstop Manny Machado from Double-A Bowie.

At first glance, Machado’s numbers (266/.352/.438 with 11 home runs and 59 RBI in 109 games) may be a tad pedestrian; however, he’s been hot at the plate down at the lower levels.

With the Orioles rolling as of late, they wanted to get an edge and Machado may be it. They needed some infield help defensively, and they sure got it with the youngster. Well, he will be playing third base instead of shortstop; however, he is probably a much better option in the field than let’s say Mark Reynolds or Wilson Betemit.

Who knows what he will with the bat, but it is surely a good day for fans of the Orioles.

Orioles select contract of INF Manny Machado, option RHP Steve Johnson to Triple-A Norfolk – INF Brian Roberts transferred to 60-day DL

The Orioles today announced that they have selected the contract of INF MANNY MACHADO from Double-A Bowie and optioned RHP STEVE JOHNSON to Triple-A Norfolk.  To make room for Machado on the 40-man roster, INF BRIAN ROBERTS has been transferred to the 60-day DL.

Machado, 20, has batted .266/.352/.438 with 11 home runs and 59 RBI in 109 games with the Baysox this season, including a .275/.365/.505 line in 91 at-bats since the All-Star break.  Machado will be the 31st player in franchise history to debut before his 21st birthday when he sees his first game action (he is 20 years, 34 days old today).  The last player to debut for the O’s before turning 21 was HAYDEN PENN (June 7, 2005 at 20.237).  The last position player to debut for the club before his 21st birthday was EUGENE KINGSALE (September 3, 1996 at 20.014).

The Orioles’ first round selection (#3 overall) in the 2010 First Year Player Draft out of Brito Miami Private School in Miami, FL, Machado came into 2012 rated as the #2 prospect in the Orioles organization and the #11 prospect overall by Baseball America.  He played in the MLB Futures Game in Kansas City in July, going 1-for-3 with a double, two RBI and a run scored.  Machado was a 2011 South Atlantic League All-Star.  He will wear #13.

Johnson earned his first major league victory last night against Seattle, allowing two earned runs and striking out nine over 6.0 innings.  He is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA (8.0IP, 3ER) in two games (one start) with the Orioles this season.