In justifying the decision to trade veteran reliever Tommy Hunter at the July 31 deadline, the Orioles said they wanted to create room for some of their minor leaguers pounding on the door to the big leagues.
One of those guys was 25-year-old Mychal Givens, a converted shortstop who uses a sidearm delivery and a darting, 95-mph fastball to befuddle hitters.
Givens faced four batters Monday and struck out three of them. He's now pitched four big-league innings, allowed just one hit and struck out six. Not bad for a guy up from Double-A.
"He's a special talent and it's pretty amazing to think he was a shortstop not too long ago and converted that quickly," catcher Caleb Joseph said. "He's done a great job. He's difficult to hit. I'm glad he's on our side."
The Orioles had the game in control when Givens entered, and so it was the perfect spot for him to get work. And, with each outing, he impresses those around him.
"He's a guy that a lot of people were talking about around the trade deadline," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You can see why we wanted to keep him."
For his part, Givens said he's just trying to learn every day from the veterans in the bullpen. Because he has options, he could be sent back to Double-A Bowie when the Orioles need a fresh arm. But so far he's doing what it takes to stay in the majors.
The Orioles could make a move Tuesday to send Tyler Wilson, who allowed just two runs in 7 2/3 innings Monday, back to Triple-A Norfolk so that the club can return to seven relievers. But since only Givens came out of the bullpen Monday, it's possible the Orioles will keep Wilson around until they know whether Chris Tillman will make his next start.