Taking over for A.J. Pierzynski as the White Sox' No. 1 catcher this season, Tyler Flowers wasted little time putting a legion of cynics in their place.
On Opening Day, Flowers put down all the right fingers for ace Chris Sale, and his solo home run off Kansas City's James Shields was the decisive blow in the Sox' 1-0 win.
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It was all downhill after that, and Flowers lost his starting job to Josh Phegley in early July after batting .213 through the first three months of the season.
On Sunday, Flowers homered at Boston in the eighth inning, and it just might have been his last at-bat in a White Sox uniform.
Before Monday's 9-1 loss to New York at Yankee Stadium, the Sox announced that Flowers is going to have exploratory surgery on his right shoulder Thursday. He's expected to be sidelined 3-6 months.
Flowers told a pool reporter the shoulder discomfort has been present for the past year.
"There were a number of days in (spring training) where the pain was extreme," he said. "It was a really tough (decision). I've known I had to have surgery for a couple of months now.
"With the work I've put into rehab, it was a good indicator. There was no way I could have continued with the pain level."
A recent MRI all but sealed the decision to have surgery.
"It solidified what I thought was going on," Flowers said. "As a ballplayer and an athlete, you know yourself better than everybody else. Initially when it happened I thought it was more like a tweak. What got me was when I was getting ready for spring, it intensified, and that's when I started to question it.
"When (anti-inflammatories) wear off, you get the pain level and real feel. It was very extreme. It's something that has to be done. I could continue, but I couldn't perform at the level required by myself, my team or my teammates."
Even though he has a subpar .214/.223/.331 hitting line with 4 home runs and 17 RBI in 44 games since coming up from Charlotte, Phegley still is entrenched as the White Sox' No. 1 catcher, although general manager Rick Hahn could make a trade or sign a veteran free agent during the off-season.
Unless Flowers comes back strong from shoulder surgery and gets another chance, his days with the Sox could be over. He finished the season with a hitting line of .195/.247/.355 to go with 10 home runs and 24 RBI in 84 games. Flowers struck out 94 times in 256 at-bats.
•The White Sox purchased catcher Bryan Anderson's contract from Class AAA Charlotte on Sunday, and they are expected to add another catcher, Miguel Gonzalez on Tuesday.
Rosters were eligible to expand Sunday, and the Sox brought up Gonzalez and left-handed pitcher Charlie Leesman from Triple-A Charlotte.
On Tuesday, right-handed pitcher Erik Johnson -- the White Sox' No. 1 prospect -- infielder Marcus Semien and relief pitcher Daniel Webb also are expected to join the club in New York.
Johnson, 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA at Charlotte after opening the season with AA Birmingham and going 8-2 with a 2.23 ERA, could make his first major-league start Wednesday night against the Yankees.
Semien batted a combined .284 with 32 doubles, 19 home runs, 66 RBI and 24 stolen bases with Birmingham and Charlotte. He's mainly played shortstop in the minor leagues this season, but the White Sox could give Semien a look at third base.
Webb had a 1.77 ERA in 13 appearances for Charlotte after opening the season with 15 scoreless innings for Birmingham.
•Follow Scot's White Sox and baseball reports on Twitter@scotgregor, and check out his Chicago's Inside Pitch blog at dailyherald.com.