According to a member of the organization, Johnson is being kept available in case the Orioles need to recall him Saturday as an extra reliever. Tonight's game in Toronto may dictate whether a roster move is forthcoming.
Left-hander Chris Jones, acquired from the Braves for reliever Luis Ayala, is starting tonight for Norfolk.
Johnson made one start with the Orioles this season, allowing six runs and seven hits in four innings on May 11 in Minnesota. He's 1-2 with a 5.49 ERA in four starts with Norfolk, with eight walks and 24 strikeouts 19 2/3 innings.
Johnson will re-enter the Tides' rotation if he isn't recalled.
Brian Matusz and Darren O'Day are the only Orioles relievers with minor league options. It's possible that the Orioles would option a position player and go with a short bench if Johnson is added to the 25-man roster.
Chris Tillman will attempt to register his seventh consecutive quality start tonight for the Orioles, which would ease the burden on a bullpen that used Troy Patton, Pedro Strop and T.J. McFarland last night. McFarland has been the long reliever this season.
Jake Arrieta could have been used in that role, but the Orioles optioned him yesterday to Norfolk when selecting Kevin Gausman's contract from Double-A Bowie. Arrieta has temporarily been placed in the Tides' bullpen.
Notes: Pitcher Dan Klein, the Orioles' third-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, has been activated from Double-A Bowie's disabled list and placed on the voluntary retired list.
Klein has undergone two surgeries on his right shoulder since being drafted, and he needed a cortisone injection in his shoulder this spring after suffering a setback in camp. He also had an arthroscopic procedure on the shoulder while at UCLA in 2009.
Klein was 4-1 with a 0.93 ERA in 38 2/3 innings during the 2010 and 2011 seasons between short-season Single-A Aberdeen, Single-A Frederick and Bowie. He walked seven and struck out 47. The Orioles planned on promoting him to Norfolk before shutting him down because of shoulder discomfort.
Also, the Orioles added infielder Josh Horton to Bowie's roster. They acquired him from the Athletics earlier this week for a PTBNL or cash.