Erik Johnson gets the first chance at the No. 5 spot in the White Sox rotation, but the situation is hardly finalized.
The White Sox announced Tuesday that they would promote Johnson from Triple-A Charlotte in time to make Thursday’s start in place of John Danks, whom they will officially designated for assignment later this week. But just because Johnson gets the first start doesn’t mean he’s here for good, general manager Rick Hahn said.
Hahn and the White Sox have made it clear they want better production from the fifth spot, whether it's from an internal or an external option.
“It’s going to be a bit of a fluid situation,” Hahn said.
Hahn is comfortable with the team’s internal options at Charlotte beyond Johnson.
Miguel Gonzalez, who started last Monday in Toronto, has a solid major league track record. Then there’s Jacob Turner, who has 27 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings with a 3.04 ERA in five starts.
But Hahn also said the White Sox wouldn’t shy away from looking outside the farm system, either. Hahn declined to answer whether or not the White Sox would watch Tim Lincecum’s tryout Friday in Scottsdale, Ariz. before he noted the club has “scouts everywhere.”
The White Sox could also try and use their internal options to get by for several months before adding another pitcher ahead of the trade deadline.
No matter whom they turn to, the expectation is better results than the White Sox received from Danks, who was 0-4 with a 7.25 ER in four starts.
“Obviously, Erik starts on Thursday,” Hahn said. “After that, we may well make another move next week as we try to accomplish two things with that spot -- first and foremost, get greater production than we’ve been receiving thus far this year.”
“We do have a few internal options.
“If it does get to the point where we’re better off going outside the organization, obviously we’ve never been shy about doing that.”