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O's call up Johnson as Urrutia goes on restricted list

O's call up Johnson as Urrutia goes on restricted list


TORONTO -- Prior to Friday's game, the Orioles selected the contract of outfielder/first baseman Dan Johnson from Triple-A Norfolk and placed outfielder/designated hitter Henry Urrutia on the restricted list.

Urrutia, part of roster expansion, will not be with the team in Toronto due to work visa issues, and he's currently at the team's spring facility in Sarasota, Fla. Johnson was signed to a Minor League deal at the end of August after opting out of his contract with the Yankees.

"There was a few times I thought I should have been called up there to New York so essentially it was like, if you're not going to do it now, I'm going to take my out. It was to force the hand if there was another opportunity somewhere else," said Johnson, 34, who got the call at 1:30 a.m. ET Friday morning that he was meeting the team in Toronto. "As soon as I took it, there were a few options, and talking to my agent, he suggested this and this is where I went."

A left-handed hitter, Johnson's stay could be short given that he's taken the roster spot of Urrutia, who will have to come off the restricted list on Monday. If the Orioles decide to keep Johnson, who could play Saturday, they will have to make another roster move. Johnson spent this season in Triple-A, posting a .250/.378/.439 line, including 21 home runs and 70 RBIs in 138 games, mostly with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

While Urrutia will come off the restricted list, he won't necessarily be activated and join the team in Boston. Manager Buck Showalter said they're still deciding whether it's best to keep him in Sarasota to prepare for the Arizona Fall League.

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

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