O's option Urrutia, send Johnson to Minors camp

O's option Urrutia, send Johnson to Minors camp

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Orioles optioned outfielder Henry Urrutia to Triple-A Norfolk and reassigned right-hander Steve Johnson to Minor League camp before Saturday afternoon's game against the Twins. The moves left the club with 41 players in big league camp.

Urrutia played in 15 Grapefruit League games, going 8-for-25 (.320) with two doubles, a home run, seven RBIs and three walks. His most recent appearance came on Friday against the Red Sox, when he went 0-for-3.

"He had so many nagging [injuries]," manager Buck Showalter said. "I think he's really -- not that he needs to -- but reminding everybody what a good hitter he is. We got to see a lot of that this spring when he's healthy. I want him to get four or five at-bats down there every day to start the season."

Baltimore signed the 28-year-old out of Cuba in 2012. He made it to the Majors for 24 games the following season, going 16-for-58 (.276) with two RBIs, no walks and 11 strikeouts.

Urrutia spent last season in the Minors, mostly at Norfolk, where he hit .270/.284/.338 with no homers and 17 RBIs over 51 games. He also missed about three months with a sports hernia that required surgery.

Showalter believes Urrutia's defense is improving as well.

"He's working hard at it," Showalter said. "I challenged him to have the same work ethic he had here down there."

Johnson appeared in four games this spring, giving up three earned runs on four hits over four innings, with three walks and seven strikeouts. The 27-year-old appeared in 21 games for Baltimore from 2012-13, but spent last season in the Minors.

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.