Prized prospect Johnson expected to join White Sox
- Photos (1)
Charlie Leesman, who bailed out White Sox starter Andre Rienzo on Sunday, could be a strong candidate to fill the role of long reliever next season.
There's less than month left in the regular season, which can't end soon enough for the White Sox.
It has been time to look toward 2014 since late May, when the Sox went on an eight-game losing streak after scratching and clawing back to the .500 mark.
White Sox vs. New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium
TV: Comcast SportsNet Monday and Wednesday; WGN Tuesday
Radio: WSCR 670-AM
Pitching matchups: The Sox' Jose Quintana (7-4) vs. Phil Hughes (4-13) Monday at 12:05 p.m.; Chris Sale (10-12) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (11-10) Tuesday at 6:05 p.m.; Hector Santiago (4-8) vs. CC Sabathia (12-11) Wednesday at 6:05 p.m.
At a glance: The Sox swept a three-game series against the Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field in early August. New right fielder Avisail Garcia is batting .458 (11-for-24) with 2 home runs and 6 RBI over his last six games. Quintana leads the major leagues with 16 no decisions. The Yankees won two of three vs. the Orioles over the weekend and still are in the wild-card hunt. Alfonso Soriano is batting .262 with 12 home runs and 35 RBI in 33 games with New York since being acquired in a trade from the Cubs.
Next: Baltimore Orioles, Thursday-Sunday at Camden Yards
— Scot Gregor
Looking ahead to next year, the starting rotation looks promising with Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, John Danks, Hector Santiago and Andre Rienzo — although the latter three were ineffective during 3 straight losses to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park over the weekend.
The calendar turned to September on Sunday, meaning 25-man rosters were eligible to expand. The White Sox brought up two players from Class AAA Charlotte: left-handed pitcher Charlie Leesman and catcher Bryan Anderson.
Look for the Sox to bring up their prized minor-league prospect — right-handed pitcher Erik Johnson — later this week.
With a glut of left-handers (Sale, Quintana, Danks, Santiago) in the current rotation, Johnson already is positioned to squeeze in for the '14 season. And if he's as good as his eye-popping numbers with Charlotte (4-1, 1.57 ERA) and AA Birmingham (8-2, 2.23 ERA) indicate, don't be surprised if Johnson opens next year as the White Sox' No. 2 starter behind Sale.
Leesman was in Charlotte's rotation this season, and he came up and made a spot start for the Sox on Aug. 9, pitching 5 innings against the Minnesota Twins in the first game of a doubleheader. He allowed 1 run on 4 hits and 5 walks in 5 innings.
This time around Leesman is pitching out of the bullpen, which makes sense since he's also left-handed.
The 26-year-old prospect had to bail out Rienzo on Sunday, and Leesman pitched relatively well in 41⁄3 innings, allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits and 4 walks against a Boston team that ranks second in the major leagues in runs scored.
If he's able to settle down and throw more strikes, Leesman could emerge as the Sox' long reliever next season.
"Whatever the position is, I'm more than happy to go after it that way," Leesman told reporters. "In terms of relieving, I think the last time I did it was in Puerto Rico in 2011 (winter ball), I had like 12 innings. And the year before it was in the (Arizona) Fall League.
"I'm going back to the Fall League to try to do that again. I wasn't really expecting that when they told me, but if it can help me make the team next year out of camp, then it's awesome."
Right-hander Daniel Webb is another minor-league reliever who could be joining the Sox in September. In 13 appearances with Charlotte, Webb has a 1.77 ERA. He opened the season at Birmingham and was promoted after pitching 15 scoreless innings.
- Share Facebook Twitter
Article sent to (required)E-mail
Article sent from (required)E-mail Name
Subject Line (article title)
Message (optional)Success - Article sent Click to close
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.
Contact information ( * required )Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *
Article InformationTitle URL
Message (optional)Success - Reprint request sent Click to close