Micah Johnson knew what he needed to work on at Triple-A and how he needed to approach the situation.
Rather than sulk after he had been optioned back to Triple-A Charlotte on May 14, Johnson knew he strictly needed to focus on his defense and make the most of his time. Johnson, who was promoted from Charlotte on Tuesday, feels like he accomplished his goals. The second baseman hopes to show the White Sox how much he has developed defensively over the past three-plus months.
“Just be out there and show them what I’ve been working on for the past couple months,” Johnson said. “Show that I’m healthy and play the game that I’m used to playing. That’s playing fast, with energy and having fun.”
Johnson has already appeared in 27 games with the White Sox this season after he made the Opening Day roster. He hit .270/.333/.297 in 83 plate appearances before he was optioned.
[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Johnson had a .315/.375/.466 slash line with 17 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 36 RBI, 54 runs scored and 28 stolen bases in 353 plate appearances with Charlotte (78 games) this season.
The rookie said he wasn’t surprised by the move and knew it wasn’t because of anything he did at the plate.
“You don’t want to hear you never did a good enough job,” Johnson said. “It’s tough to hear. But at the same time, you understand what you need to work on. It was pretty well understood it wasn’t an offensive move. It was for me to work on some things defensively that I needed to work on. I respect their decision and I went down there and worked on those things.”
One area Johnson wasn’t tried was in the outfield where some believe he could wind up if he doesn’t work out at second base. But the White Sox opted not to try Johnson in the outfield at Charlotte or in the Arizona Rookie League in August as he rehabbed from a hamstring strain.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura doesn’t plan to try Johnson out anywhere other than second or as a designated hitter.
“If they would have done that previously of him being here I probably would have done that,” Ventura said. “But if they didn’t do it when he was in Triple-A, we’re not going to do it up here. We’ve got enough guys who can where we don’t need to move him around.”
Johnson intends to do his best to not overthink things. He only plans to continue to work on his defense and show the White Sox how much effort he’s put into it while at Charlotte.
“I’m at my best when I’m not really worrying about offense,” Johnson said. “When I just show up at the field, relax and not really worry about who’s pitching that day, or my swing. Offensively, it’s kind of different for me. Defensively, I gotta work on stuff. Defensively, I gotta be out there working on stuff and just finding a rhythm. For me, offense just kind of comes, defense is just something I gotta work on.”