Orioles bring up Giavotella, option Aquino

Infielder was batting .306 at Triple-A; Washington DFA'd

July 7th, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- Orioles infielder returned to a Major League clubhouse for the first time since August. Prior to Thursday's tilt with the Twins, Baltimore selected Giavotella's contract and brought him up from Triple-A Norfolk.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the O's designated infielder David Washington. Giavotella took left-hander 's spot on the big league roster. Aquino was optioned after allowing four runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Brewers on Wednesday.

"This is a first class organization and an organization that I've always looked up to whenever I played against them," Giavotella said. "They have always played hard and always played competitive baseball. That was a reason why I signed here, so I'm just excited to be back up."

The last time Giavotella appeared in a game at this level was with the Angels on Aug. 14 at Cleveland. In 2016, he played in 99 games while posting a .260/.287/.376 slash line across 346 at-bats with the Halos.

In six years -- split between Los Angeles and Kansas City -- Giavotella has played in 353 games, with a career line of .256/.295/.361.

Giavotella was raking in 83 games at Norfolk. His .306 batting average is the highest clip since he hit .323 with the Omaha Stormchasers, the Royals' Triple-A affiliate, in 2012. In addition, his on-base percentage (.368) and slugging percentage (.441) are the highest they've been since 2012.

"There is nobody in the game that plays harder than Johnny," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I told him when he broke camp, he had a chance to lead that league in hitting. He brings a lot of energy. He's a good hitter."

Baltimore signed Giavotella to a Minor League deal on Feb. 3 to provide depth in the infield. Though he's played the bulk of his career at second base, Giavotella could fill in at shortstop and third base, if needed.

The 29-year-old may have had to wait several months to step foot in the Baltimore clubhouse, but he won't be forgetting his Minor League teammates anytime soon.

"Those guys are grinding down there," Giavotella said. "They are waiting for their opportunity, so I have a lot of respect for those guys down there. I'll definitely be buying the spread at some point soon to help them out."

Worth noting

• Showalter said Chris Tillman -- on the paternity list after the birth of his first child -- will fly into Minnesota on Friday, and the plan is to activate him on Saturday. It hasn't been determined if he will start or work out the bullpen, however.

"We will see how the next day or so goes," Showalter said. "We will talk to him when he gets here. I don't like the idea of him flying in Friday night and pitching Saturday."

• Chris Davis, who has been on the shelf with a right oblique strain, is expected to hit in live batting practice before Friday's game.