HOUSTON -- With Steve Johnson going on the disabled list and right fielder Nick Markakis away from the team due to the death of his paternal grandmother, the Orioles decided to call up outfielder Xavier Avery to give the team some bench depth on Thursday.
Avery did not play in the game and was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk after the game. The team is expected to call up a reliever Friday.
Avery, a 23-year-old left-handed hitter with speed, batted .192 in 15 games at Triple-A Norfolk after hitting .300 in 39 games at Double-A Bowie this year.
“I’m just crawling back to where I want to be,” Avery said before the game. “Taking baby steps to get back on track. I did good in Bowie when I was down there. Then I got to Norfolk, hit a dry patch. But it’s all right. I’m going to get back to doing what I do.”
Avery hit .223 in 32 games for the Orioles last year.
“On the surface, it’s an in and out,” Showalter said of the Avery promotion. “But we’re not going to take a chance of not having bullets. He brings a couple things that you can always use in a game. You’d rather err on the side of caution.”
A pitcher the Orioles call up Friday may not have a long shelf life with the Orioles, either. Pedro Strop, assuming there are no setbacks in a one-inning stint in Sarasota, will be ready to come off the disabled list Saturday. He’s been on the DL since May 25 with a lower back strain.
“I’m hoping he can pitch for us Saturday,” Showalter said of Strop.