White Sox

Micah Johnson beginning to settle in with White Sox


Micah Johnson beginning to settle in with White Sox

A month into his major league career, Micah Johnson is getting to get back to being himself.

The rookie second baseman went 3-for-4 and sparked the White Sox four-run, game-winning rally with two out in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 7-6 win over Detroit. He’s not where he wants to be just yet, but with a .343 on-base percentage and good speed from the No. 9 spot in the order, the White Sox are pleased with his development so far.

“I’ve been working a lot lately getting back to that and getting back to my approach that got me here,” Johnson said. “It’s always going to be a work in progress.”

Hitting coach Todd Steverson has seen Johnson have better timing lately, which has been an issue this season given Johnson’s swing doesn’t contain many moving parts. As Johnson has adjusted to the major league game — the routine, the information and the quality of pitching — his timing hasn’t always been there.

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Steverson has worked with Johnson on getting a subtle timing mechanism into his swing as he gathers his hands, though mostly that’s been used during batting practice and cage work. It’s minor tweaks like that Steverson said Johnson has been receptive to, even as he does try to get back to the approach that led him to a .366 on-base percentage over three minor league seasons.

“You stay here because of X,” Steverson said. “You’re here because you did something well, but this is how you stay here, and you need to level that out.”

Manager Robin Ventura said one of the bigger adjustments Johnson’s had to make is learning how to not lead off a game and instead wait two or three innings for his first at-bat. There’s a certain patience that’s necessary with hitting ninth, Ventura said, that the aggressive second baseman has had to learn.

“Once it gets there then he can turn into a leadoff hitter,” Ventura said. “I think that’s really the beauty of him once he gets there, he does bring energy to that spot, and then you saw last night of getting on base and he can create some havoc when he gets out there."

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation


ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming. 

Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts. 

Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it. 

Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.

So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control. 

White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2


White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert?  Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike?  What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here 

Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: