Having grown up around Orioles baseball, Steve Johnson's dream was always to play for his hometown team.
That dream came true Sunday, when the St. Paul's alum was told he was being recalled by the Orioles. His first call was to his father, former Orioles pitcher Dave Johnson.
"I think we were both shocked," Johnson said. "I was still in shock and he was definitely in shock.
"Growing up, with my dad playing for them, and being around them and following them, being a fan, even when I was with the Dodgers, that's why I signed back with them this year. I wanted to be here. I think I'm still in shock until the game starts today. I think that's when it's really going to set in."
Following a cross-country 6 a.m. flight from Triple-A Norfolk Monday, he was running the warning track at Safeco Field before the Orioles' series opener against the Mariners. He was available to make his major league debut Monday out of the bullpen, where the Orioles will initially use him.
On May 3, the Orioles added Johnson to the 40-man roster, a move that prevented Johnson from being able to exercise an opt-out clause in his contract. Four weeks later, he is in the majors.
"There was a lot of stuff going through my mind and I really just wanted to pitch and have it all over with and let whatever happened happen," Johnson said. "I didn't really like that part of it, the business side. It's not as fun as just going out there and playing. I was glad to have that over with and glad to be with the Orioles and it worked out."
Johnson spent most of the season as a starter, but also excelled once he moved to the bullpen because of Norfolk's crowded rotation. He has yet to allow an earned run in four relief appearances since joining the pen in mid-June, a span of 12 1/3 innings. Johnson has a five-inning stint among those relief appearances, so he could still start for the Orioles.
Johnson was 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA in 14 games (nine starts) for the Tides.
Johnson and his father become the sixth father-son duo to play for the Orioles, joining Bob and Terry Kennedy, Don and Damon Buford, John O'Donoghue Sr. and John O'Donoghue Jr., Dave and Derrick May and Tim Raines Sr. and Tim Raines Jr.
Dave Johnson pitched for the Orioles from 1989 to '91.
Right-hander Chris Tillman has been recalled from Norfolk and will join the Orioles in Seattle on Tuesday. He will likely start Wednesday's series finale against the Mariners, allowing the Orioles to push back right-hander Jake Arrieta a day.
Tillman is 8-8 with a 3.63 ERA in 16 appearances (15 starts) with Norfolk. He's won four of his last five starts and has allowed three or fewer earned runs in eight of his last 10 decisions. Over his past three starts, Tillman is 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 23 strikeouts and 3 walks.
Tillman was scratch from his scheduled start on Monday night in Norfolk, replaced by Tim Bascom, who was promoted from Double-A Bowie.
The Orioles have yet to announce their starter for Friday's game in Anaheim.
Palmer auctioning off awards
Palmer isn't in financial need, but said the sale of the trophies would help him care for his 15-year-old autistic stepson and his grandchildren. A portion of the profits will also go to the autism project of Palm Beach County.
"They're hanging on my wall," said Palmer, who was in Seattle to call the Orioles/Mariners series for MASN. "It seems like it could make more of a difference in other people's lives instead of just hanging on my wall of my office. The Gold Gloves are in storage."