Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Johnson, Semien among roster additions
By Doug Padilla
With a nod toward the no-so-distant future, the Chicago White Sox added right-handed starter Erik Johnson and infielder Marcus Semien to the major league roster, along with right-handed reliever Daniel Webb and catcher Miguel Gonzalez.
Johnson and Semien, both Cal products, could end up competing for an Opening Day roster spot next spring. Webb could also be in that mix as the White Sox look to revamp a portion of their bullpen.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the White Sox put both catcher Tyler Flowers and pitcher Brian Omogrosso on the 60-day disabled list. Flowers is scheduled to have season-ending shoulder surgery this week, while Omogrosso underwent shoulder surgery last month.
Johnson, 23, spent time at both Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte this season, posting a combined 12-3 record with a 1.96 ERA over 24 starts. He not only fired three complete games and had 131 strikeouts, he also limited right-handed hitters to a .190 batting average and just one home run.
Johnson could end up in a battle with right-hander Andre Rienzo for the final rotation spot heading into next season.
Semien, 22, is primarily a shortstop but has spent time at second and third base this season. Like Johnson, he spent time at Birmingham and Charlotte, earning Southern League MVP honors. Despite a promotion to Charlotte on July 31, he still led the Southern League in runs (90) and on-base percentage (.420). He was second in slugging percentage (.483) and third in batting average (.290).
Johnson was a second-round draft pick in 2011, while Semien was a sixth-round pick in the same draft.
Webb, 23, who was acquired in the January 2012 trade that sent Jason Frasor to the Toronto Blue Jays, pitched on three levels this season, spending time at Single-A Winston-Salem to go along with Birmingham and Charlotte. He was a combined 2-1 with a 1.87 ERA over 42 relief appearances. He struck out 78 in 62 2/3 innings.
Gonzalez, 22, was called up to provide catching depth since Flowers was lost for the remainder of the season. He also played at Birmingham and Charlotte, batting a combined .254 with 20 RBI over 53 games, while throwing out 37 percent of attempted base stealers.