After the Baltimore Orioles signed Chris Johnson to a minor-league deal, he comes to camp with a chance to revitalize his career as an infielder.
The Baltimore Orioles know they’re going to lose Jonathan Schoop and Manny Machado for a few weeks to the World Baseball Classic. So don’t be surprised if you see Chris Johnson’s name in the Orioles lineup quite a bit during the exhibition season.
With Machado and Schoop away, Johnson admitted it was one of the many reasons he agreed to sign with the Orioles. Because of the World Baseball Classic, all eyes will be on Johnson, and he’ll do anything to impress the coaching staff.
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"“I think that was one of the things I liked about coming here,” said Johnson, who reported to the Ed Smith Stadium spring training complex on Thursday. “There are some guys in the infield who are going to be going and playing and I’ll be able to get in there in spring training and show what I can do. And that’s all I can ask is for an opportunity.”"
Johnson hopes to win a job out of Spring Training, but it appears more likely he’ll start the season at Triple-A Norfolk. Johnson is unsure what it would feel like considering his father Ron Johnson is the manager of the Triple-A ball club.
He does know he hasn’t seen his father in camp as of yet, and he’s excited he’ll get a chance to play in front of him.
"“Weird, I’m sure,” he said. “It’s weird even being in this locker room right now. He was here yesterday and it’s just strange running into him, and him coming into the cage and stuff like that. But I’m sure we’ll get past that weirdness and move on. It should be fun.”"
Johnson played in 130 games or more from 2012-2014 with the Atlanta Braves Arizona Diamondbacks and the Houston Astros. However, Johnson struggled in a bench role while with the Cleveland Indians and the Miami Marlins.
Johnson is hoping his chance with the Orioles puts his career back on track. And he’s willing to prove himself whether at the Major League level or in Triple-A.