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updated: 5/14/2014 12:09 AM

Johnson knocking at White Sox' door

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  • Chicago White Sox pitcher Scott Carroll (67) is visited on the pitching mound by coach Don Cooper in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo)

      Chicago White Sox pitcher Scott Carroll (67) is visited on the pitching mound by coach Don Cooper in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo)

 
 

The White Sox are obviously trying to win now, but they are still a team in transition looking for much better days down the road.

That's why it's more important than ever to pay attention to minor-league activity.

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And there was a big move Tuesday, when top prospect Micah Johnson was promoted from Class AA Birmingham to AAA Charlotte.

You might remember Johnson from last season, when he led the minor leagues with 84 stolen bases while batting .312 with Class A Kannapolis, A Winston-Salem and AA Birmingham.

Johnson opened this season with Birmingham and was leading the Southern League with a .329 batting average when he was bumped up to Charlotte, putting the second baseman just one step away from the White Sox.

Speaking of the Sox, they lost 11-0 to the Athletics in Oakland on Tuesday night.

That leads us conveniently back to Johnson, because the A's scored their first run against starter Scott Carroll in the first inning when Yoenis Cespedes singled with two outs before Brandon Moss hit a deep flyball to left field.

Dayan Viciedo had room to make the catch, but he turned the wrong way and Moss wound up on second base with a run-scoring double.

The White Sox' outfield defense looked pretty good at the start of the season when Avisail Garcia was the right fielder, Adam Eaton was in center and Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza were splitting time in left.

But with Garcia out for the season with a shoulder injury and Eaton sidelined with a hamstring injury, the Sox have been burned by a lack of outfield depth and poor defensive play.

Looking into the future, Eaton is set in center, Garcia is set in right and, let's just say Viciedo slides over to designated hitter to replace Adam Dunn / Paul Konerko.

Let's also say Gordon Beckham stays healthy, produces and proves he is the White Sox' best option at second base.

Johnson is intent on forcing his way into the Sox' lineup, but he needs a position.

How about left field?

Johnson has played second base since being drafted on the ninth round out of Indiana in 2012, but the White Sox are always moving players around.

Beckham is a natural shortstop that broke in with the Sox as a third baseman before moving to second. Viciedo is a natural third baseman, but he also played first base before moving to the outfield.

With top outfield prospect Courtney Hawkins not expected to arrive until 2016 and Trayce Thompson on pace for a look in September of next season, the time seems right to see if Johnson can play the outfield.

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