O's option Givens but see promising future

Converted shortstop opens Showalter's eyes with athleticism in big league debut

O's option Givens but see promising future

BOSTON -- Orioles right-hander Mychal Givens, who made his Major League debut on Wednesday night, was optioned to Double-A Bowie to clear a roster spot for Miguel Gonzalez, who worked five-plus innings against the Red Sox during Thursday's 8-6 win in his return from the disabled list.

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Givens, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Wednesday's 5-1 loss to Boston, made a nice impression in a short stint.

"With Mychal, it's kind of, 'To be continued,'" O's manager Buck Showalter said of Givens' future in Baltimore. "He brings a lot of things. He's very athletic. He brings a lot of things that a lot of other pitchers can't.

"You can tell Mike is athletic and gets the other parts of the game. You see his times to the plate, his moves to first [base] -- little things you've got to get used to. You can tell he's into the situation of the game, even in a short stint. With the ball to the right side, he's breaking that way, as you should be. Little things like that. [His] pure stuff will play up here."

Top Prospects: Givens, BAL

A converted shortstop, the 25-year-old Givens returns to Double-A Bowie, where he was moved into more of a setup role to help mimic his future with the O's.

"Whether he goes to Double-A or Triple-A is not really important," Showalter said of Givens, ranked as the O's No. 16 prospect by MLB.com.

"There's good to both of them. It's kind of a no-lose [situation]. There's an experience level in Triple-A -- you get more experienced hitters -- but where Mychal is ... keep in mind he was playing shortstop a couple years ago. ... I've said it a million times: We've got a 36-man pitching staff between here and Bowie and Norfolk.

"The roster doesn't really matter. We've got ways to get guys on the roster. I did want to get him in a game before he left, and I know [the Red Sox] had a couple left-handed hitters. Mychal, when he's right, I think he will be able to defend himself against both of them. I went over the outing today on film, and he's got a chance to help us."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.