The Orioles put Steve Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle. Johnson, who allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings on Wednesday night, will fly with the team, which begins a three-game series at St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday and have an MRI at Sarasota.
Johnson is 1-1 with an 8.49 ERA in five games with the Orioles.
To take Johnson’s place on the roster, the Orioles recalled outfielder Xavier Avery from Norfolk. Avery is likely to be with the Orioles only through Thursday afternoon’s game because he’s replacing Nick Markakis. Markakis will miss the second of two games due to the death of his grandmother, but he’s scheduled to return on Friday. Avery is batting .192 in 15 games with Norfolk. He started the season with Bowie and batted .300 with the Baysox.
The Orioles have been playing with a three-man bench without Markakis.
On Friday, the Orioles are likely to add a pitcher, perhaps Jon Rauch, who they signed to a minor league contract last weekend. Rauch has a June 18 opt-out, but he’s only pitched an inning since he was signed last weekend.
Pedro Strop is eligible to be activated this weekend, but the Orioles want to make sure his control issues have been dealt with. He was scheduled for an inning of extended spring training work.
None of the Norfolk starters are particularly attractive options. Jake Arrieta pitched horribly on Monday. Jair Jurrjens started Tuesday and wouldn’t be available until Sunday. Zach Britton started on Wednesday and wouldn’t be available until next Monday, and Tsuyoshi Wada, who’s supposed to start today, hasn’t shown any evidence that he’s ready for the majors in his rehab start. Josh Stinson allowed four home runs in start for the Orioles in April.