White Sox

White Sox: Erik Johnson earns Triple-A All-Star Game start

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White Sox: Erik Johnson earns Triple-A All-Star Game start

Erik Johnson is back on the map and he’s set to start the Triple-A All-Star game next week, too.

A strong season highlighted by a dominant six-game stretch earned Johnson the nod for the International League in next Wednesday’s exhibition.

It also has helped the Triple-A Charlotte pitcher -- once the No. 2 prospect in the White Sox farm system who was sent back to the minors after five starts in 2014 -- reemerge in the organization’s plans after a disastrous 2014 season.

Johnson is 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 85 innings at Triple-A Charlotte this season. Over his last six games, Johnson has a 1.07 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 42 innings.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

“He’s having a great year,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “On one level, you’re really happy for the kid because obviously he struggled and it sort of got away from him a little bit in ’14. And now not only has it come back, but arguably it’s come back at a level beyond even where he was in ’12 and ’13.

“It obviously puts us in a nice position going forward of having some pitching depth who can also play a role here in the second half if need be.”

The White Sox recently slowed Johnson down in an effort to monitor his workload. He last pitched on June 26, though the right-hander will pitch a few innings on Friday before he pitches in the All-Star Game next Wednesday. Johnson is then expected to return to Charlotte’s rotation on a normal schedule.

[MORE: Javy Guerra suspended 50 games for failed drug test]

Johnson rose to prominence in 2013 as he went12-3 with a 1.96 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A. He also pitched well infive big league starts with the White Sox that September and was rated the No. 63 prospect by Baseball America heading into 2014.

Without much competition, Johnson was handed a spot in the 2014 starting rotation and struggled immediately, going 1-1 with a 6.46 ERA in 23 2/3 innings. His velocity declined as did his command and Johnson was sent back to Charlotte, where he had a 6.73 ERA in 20 starts.

But this spring, Johnson regained his velocity and wanted to show the White Sox he was still a viable option in the future.

“I am optimistic,” Johnson said in March. “I feel good. I’m throwing the ball well from what I can see. I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying every day. I’m really thankful to be here and be part of this organization. I’m not here to just go through camp, I’m here to make some moves.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: Memories of Old Comiskey Park

For many White Sox fans, Comiskey Park was their introduction to White Sox baseball when they were young. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey, and Chris Kamka share their memories of the old ballpark. Among them: Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl, Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball, Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game, they discuss the final game ever played there and read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

You can listen to the whole thing right here, or in the embedded player below.

8:26 - Chuck talks about seeing Al Cowens charge Ed Farmer on the mound in 1980 creating a bench clearing brawl.

10:11 - Ryan tells the story about catching a Mike Greenwell foul ball.

12:49 - Chuck talks about being there for the 1983 All-Star Game

15:11 - The guys talk about the final game ever played there.

16:44 - The guys read favorite memories sent in by White Sox fans.

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'White Sox to the Letter'

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AP

'White Sox to the Letter'

Inspired by Ogden Nash’s 1949 poem “A Lineup for Yesterday”

 

A is for A.J.

Once punched in the face

If strike three ain’t caught

He’ll steal first base

 

B is for Baines

Who’s known to speak gently

When asked if he’ll homer

He said, “Evidently!”

 

C for Comiskey

The old baseball yard

When it was torn down

I took it quite hard

 

D is for Donkey

I mean Adam Dunn

He’d strike out or walk

Or hit a home run

 

E is for Eloy

He isn’t here yet

Though an All-Star career

Is still a good bet

 

F is for Fisk

The incomparable Pudge

From his perch behind home

Not an inch he would budge

 

G is for Gold

G is for Glove

Aparicio is

Who I’m thinking of

 

H is for Hawk

Unforgettable voice

Stretch! Dadgummit!

And don’t stop now boys!

 

I for Iguchi

Second base man

Won World Series

Returned to Japan

 

J is for Jackson

The legend still grows

A home run or touchdown

Only Bo knows

 

K is for Kopech

Speed, he has plenty

He’ll pile up strikeouts

In two thousand twenty

 

L is for Luke

Old Aches and Pains

Hit .388

That record remains

 

M is for Mark

As in Mister Buehrle

When he takes the mound

The game will end early

 

N is for no-no

Wilson Alvarez, Humber

Two by Mark Buehrle

Too many to number

 

O for Orestes

Miñoso’s real name

Not in the Hall

And that’s a real shame

 

P is for Paulie

He gave it his all

At the championship rally

Gave Jerry the ball

 

Q for Quintana

Kept coming up short

Only because

Of no run support

 

R is for Richie

But please call him Dick

A dangerous man

When he’s swinging the stick

 

S is for shoes

Which were not worn by Joe

In 1919

Please say it ain’t so

 

T is for Thomas

Amazing career

He went to the Hall

And brewed Big Hurt Beer

 

U for Uribe

He played everywhere

When the ball left his bat

Hands waved in the air

 

V is for Veeck

He knew how to sell

Fireworks, promotions

And Eddie Gaedel

 

W is for William

Or Bill; He was Beltin’

So hot was the corner

Third baseman was Melton

 

X is for Fox

At least the last letter

Among second basemen

Nobody was better

 

Y is for Yolmer

He has sneaky power

The master of giving

A Gatorade shower

 

Z is for Zisk

And others I missed

Unable to fit

In my White Sox list