Indians designate Johnson, recall Hagadone

Indians designate Johnson, recall Hagadone

CLEVELAND -- The Indians love Elliot Johnson's versatility, but they needed the roster spot more than they needed the super sub.

Johnson was designated for assignment Saturday, and left-handed reliever Nick Hagadone was called up from Triple-A Columbus to take his spot.

Johnson, who had started both games at second base since Jason Kipnis' injury, made two errors Friday night, but Tribe skipper Terry Francona said that Johnson's defensive mistakes are not what led to his being designated for assignment.

"[Friday's game] had nothing to do with it, first of all," Francona said.

Johnson was the Indians' emergency catcher and could play every defensive position. But he was hitting just .105 (2-for-19) in seven games when he was sent down.

"All along, I think we hoped we could keep Elliot, whether he hit or not," Francona said. "He can play every position, he can run. We never really got quite into that, where we could utilize him a lot. We also knew at some point, we might not be able to carry that guy."

Meanwhile, Hagadone's stay in Cleveland will be short. He gives Francona nine arms in the bullpen, the kind of depth Cleveland's manager loves to have, but when Josh Tomlin is called up to make a start Tuesday, Hagadone will be sent back to Triple-A Columbus.

"That will be only about three days," Francona said of Hagadone's stint with the Tribe. "It can't hurt to ever have an extra arm. … In a game, it may help. I see no reason it can hurt us."

Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.