The Boston Red Sox added infielder/left fielder Kelly Johnson to their 25-man roster.
The Red Sox activated Johnson from the 15-day disabled list before Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Outfielder/second baseman Mookie Betts was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in a corresponding roster move.
Johnson was acquired last week from the New York Yankees in exchange for shortstop Stephen Drew. The 32-year-old, who was placed on the DL on July 23 with a groin injury, played two games with Double-A Portland as part of a rehab assignment. He went 0-for-6 with two walks and three strikeouts while playing first base and third base.
Johnson, like Drew, has had a disappointing season to this point. He hit .219 with six home runs, 22 RBIs and a .304 on-base percentage in 77 games with the Yankees before landing on the shelf. Johnson, a left-handed hitter, played primarily first base and third base with New York, but he also has ample experience at second base (810 career games) and in left field (135 career games).
Johnson, a first-round pick (39th overall) of the Atlanta Braves in 2000, posted a career-high 26 homers, 71 RBIs and a .865 OPS with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010.
Betts, who is considered the Red Sox’s top prospect, returns to Pawtucket after a second major league stint. The 21-year-old has torn apart the minors this season — hitting .342 with 11 homers, 58 RBIs, 30 stolen bases and a .959 OPS in 88 games split between Triple-A and Double-A — and has shown flashes in the majors, but the Red Sox would like to ensure he garners everyday at-bats.
Betts hit .244 (10-for-41) with a homer and two RBIs in 13 big league games.
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