Orioles pitcher Steve Johnson joined Vinny and Rob today to discuss the upcoming Orioles season and to talk about the offseason coming to a close.
Steve sat out the majority of the 2013 season, after a successful 2012 campaign. Rob asked Steve if he is looking forward to a fresh star in 2014 and a chance to compete for the fifth starting position in the Orioles rotation. “No one wants to go into a year and have all of those injuries happen and I haven’t been my whole career for the most part, but last year I get hurt and have a couple of major injuries put me out for a while. I want to put that in the past, and I worked hard this offseason kind of getting stronger and maybe bringing in a new pitch. Hopefully it can take my game to the next level and help me out in earning spot this year. ”
Brittany Ghiroli, who was sitting in for Vinny today, brought up that Steve attended the Mini-Camp a couple of weeks ago in Sarasota. Steve said it really helped him out a lot. “They really just wanted to kind of see how each pitcher grew. That was a big deal to me because sometimes they have guys trying to tinker with things when they haven’t really seen you a lot. But it was a nice three days out in the sun and being able to throw a couple of bullpens, and I learned a new splitter grip that I think is going to be a big pitch for me.”
Steve, who has been used mostly out of the bullpen in long relief, has made a few starts in his career. Rob asked him if he has been informed of his role within the organization yet. “I’m going to assume it’s going to be what it has been the past couple of years, I am going to go out and hopefully win a spot as a starter if there is a spot open. If not I’ll hopefully win a spot in long relief, I mean I have been able to do both, unfortunately last year I was hurt. This year hopefully I can prove myself and earn a spot either way.”
Listen to the full interview right here!