8/20/2014 9:12 P.M. ET
Prospect Johnson's season cut short by injury
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Micah Johnson has been shut down for the remainder of the season with a strained left hamstring, according to comments made by White Sox general manager Rick Hahn prior to Wednesday's contest.
Johnson, the club's fourth-ranked prospect, has been dealing with that lingering hamstring issue but felt something in the front of his knee during a swing for Triple-A Charlotte the other day. He was pulled from the game and brought to Chicago for evaluation.
"It turned out that even though the pain was from the front of the leg, it was actually related to the same hamstring strain, so we've elected to shut him down," Hahn said. "He's done for the season. We're going to give the strain 4-6 weeks to heal, and we expect he should be 100 percent and go into next season without restriction."
Over stops with Charlotte and Double-A Birmingham, the left-handed-hitting Johnson posted a .294 average with five homers, 44 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in 35 attempts. Hahn believes the hamstring might have cost Johnson some of the explosiveness that contributed to his 84 stolen bases last season.
The White Sox view Johnson as a second baseman going forward, even in a crowded position that includes incumbent Gordon Beckham, Carlos Sanchez, Marcus Semien and Tyler Saladino.
"We think he's made a lot of advancements in the last two seasons," said Hahn of Johnson's defense. "He made a huge jump between '12 and '13 and another nice jump between '13 and '14.
"I do feel the hamstring injury took away a little bit of the explosiveness of his speed. He's been fighting through it. He wanted to continue to fight through it. He did not want to be shut down and felt he could play through it, but we just thought it would be more prudent to allow the thing a chance to heal and put it completely behind him so he can return to being that type of primarily speed-based player when he gets back."
Rodon's September plans not yet determined
CHICAGO -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn would not commit as to whether Carlos Rodon, the team's top pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and the No. 3 selection overall, will be joining the team when rosters expand in September. Hahn was more than willing to praise Rodon's successful ascension through the Minor League ranks after joining the organization in late July.
Rodon struck out three and walked three over three innings in his Triple-A Charlotte debut on Tuesday.
"He's coming along quick and he's coming along real well," said Hahn of Rodon. "Last night was a good outing. We again saw the plus slider, which everyone has seen going back to the college days, as well as the very impressive changeup.
"I saw from his own comments after the game, he had a good feel for where he was in terms of his fastball command not quite being where he needs it to be. But it was his first outing at a high level, and he certainly responded to the challenge."
Hahn said the White Sox aren't running against an innings limit for Rodon, who threw 98 2/3 innings this season for N.C. State. But Hahn wouldn't specify whether Rodon, the club's top-ranked prospect, would be used in relief or as a controlled starter if he joined the White Sox in September..
"There is nothing set in stone in terms of him coming here or not coming here," Hahn said. "The decision is going to be made strictly based upon his development and his long-term fit for us. If we feel that he has the ability to come up here and compete, excel and learn from the experience, then it's something we need to talk about internally and make a decision. If we feel that he's had a good season and he's accomplished what he needs to accomplish in his first year as a pro, then he likely doesn't come up."
Eaton to start rehab assignment Thursday at Triple-A
CHICAGO -- The plan for Adam Eaton is to go to Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday and begin an injury rehab assignment for the right oblique strain that landed him on the disabled list Aug. 9. Eaton took batting practice prior to Wednesday's contest.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn doesn't believe Eaton will be back Sunday in New York, when he's eligible to return, partially because of logistics and travel. But he should be back in the lineup for the start of the club's homestand next week against the Indians and Tigers.
Eaton has played an integral role in the White Sox defense and especially their offensive output, but the key for the White Sox is keeping Eaton healthy while not taking away his aggressiveness. This present injury popped up two days after he ran into a post in the U.S. Cellular Field wall chasing an Adam Rosales' home run.
"We did talk earlier in the year about the head-first slide [into first] and stuff like that, which obviously has played a role in some of his issues," said Hahn. "He's learned a little bit about himself in terms of, I don't want to say toning it down, because part of what makes him good is that aggressiveness, but sort of being more selectively aggressive as a means of preserving his health."
"Guys are going to get hurt, but I think there's ways for guys to manage it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "This is not a guy that's played 10 years, so he's got stuff that he'll learn as he goes along: How important he is to the team to when to run face-first into the wall and when not to when the ball's 10 feet over the fence. So, hopefully, he can learn that."
Limited number of callups to reinforce roster
CHICAGO -- The White Sox expect to call up somewhere between five to eight players when rosters expand in September. Players such as infielder Marcus Semien and catcher Josh Phegley appear to be near certainties, while other candidates would be infielder Carlos Sanchez, first baseman/designated hitter Andy Wilkins and third baseman Matt Davidson.
General manager Rick Hahn would not commit to a September decision for Carlos Rodon, the left-handed pitcher who was the White Sox top pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and third pick overall. He also mentioned outfielder Jared Mitchell as in play for September, with the team's top pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft having knocked out nine hits in his last 19 at-bats for Triple-A Charlotte, after hitting .299 with 10 homers in a return to Double-A Birmingham.
"Another guy who has seemed to find a consistent approach that he is now going to stick with and is reaping the benefits from that," said Hahn of Mitchell. "We'll see. Even if for whatever reason he isn't in the mix, he's learned a lot from this season and his arrow is pointing back up again."
Wilkins, who leads the International League in home runs (29), RBIs (82), extra-base hits (65) and total bases (260), is not on the 40-man roster. Rodon also would need a 40-man spot.
Third to first
• Whenever the White Sox bullpen has struggled this season, which has been too frequent for those inside and outside the organization, two things are almost certain to happen. Fans begin calling for the removal of reliever A or B, and fans then criticize Ventura for mishandling the bullpen.
Ventura doesn't seem bothered by the jeers.
"No. I've been booed before, so this is nothing new," Ventura said. "That's part of the gig. If you bring somebody in that doesn't work, it doesn't work. That's just the way it goes. That's just part of the job. The other part is to make sure when they come back out the next time, they're in a good frame of mind and ready to pitch. Your roster is what it is, but that's part of the game.
"Again, people don't see the things that we see as far as what's going on internally, but they're frustrated, we're frustrated. When you're not winning, you get frustrated and you understand that, but in the end we're continuing to play. That's just part of the job."
• Jordan Danks returned to the White Sox before Charlotte's Jordan Danks Bobblehead Night on Tuesday. But when asked about it Wednesday, Danks pulled his bobblehead from the locker and said he's got another case coming.
• The White Sox have requested waivers on left-handed pitcher Charlie Leesman for the purpose of granting his unconditional release. Leesman was designated for assignment on Aug. 16.
• Hahn said that the White Sox making an August waiver wire deal is still a possibility.
"You never know until you match up," Hahn said. "But there certainly is that possibility."