Before he heads up to Chicago, White Sox prospect Erik Johnson will have to make some extra room in his luggage for some new hardware.
On Tuesday, the Sox pitching prospect was named the International League's Most Valuable Pitcher for his performance with the Charlotte Knights in 2015.
[ROAD AHEAD: Sox preparing for September call-ups]
The right-hander struggled in a five major-league outings in 2014 (1-1, 6.46 ERA), but Johnson bounced back in a big way this year. He recorded a 2.37 ERA over 132.2 innings with the Knights, leading the league in ERA, strikeouts (136) and WHIP (1.12).
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Johnson, who was one of the September call-ups for the White Sox, was selected in the second round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Cal-Berkeley. He's the first Knight to win the award since Heath Phillips in 2006.
The 25-year old was also named to the International League's Postseason All-Star Team, the first time Charlotte has had a pitcher selected since 2009 (Carlos Torres).
It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.
The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:
— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.
— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.
— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).
— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.
— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)
— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).
Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.