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Callups focused on present but have eye toward '14

Callups focused on present but have eye toward '14

Callups focused on present but have eye toward '14 play video for Callups focused on present but have eye toward '14

NEW YORK -- Infielder Marcus Semien and right-handed pitcher Erik Johnson both found out about their impending callups to the White Sox on Sunday, making for a rather long Monday, as Triple-A Charlotte completed its regular season.

"Yeah, yesterday was a pretty long day," said a smiling Semien, standing in the visitors' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium. "I was really excited. It's every ballplayer's dream. Now you do what you can to try to stay here."

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Semien, 22, and Johnson, 23, were joined by right-handed reliever Daniel Webb, 23, and catcher Miguel Gonzalez, 22, as Tuesday callups, putting the White Sox 40-man roster at 40. This quartet was preceded by left-handed pitcher Charlie Leesman and catcher Bryan Anderson on Sunday.

These players earned their big league chance with stellar Minor League regular seasons. Johnson, the club's No. 2 prospect per MLB.com, finished 12-3 with a 1.96 ERA, three complete games and 131 strikeouts over 24 starts between Charlotte and Double-A Birmingham. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Johnson was named to the Southern League All-Star Team before posting a 4-1 record with a 1.57 ERA over 57 1/3 innings with Charlotte. He limited right-handed hitters to a .190 average and one homer.

Webb made 42 appearances between Class A Winston-Salem, Birmingham and Charlotte, going 2-1 with a 1.87 ERA, to go along with 10 saves, 78 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings and a .194 opponents' average.

Semien, the Southern League Most Valuable Player, combined to hit .284 with 32 doubles, six triples, 19 home runs, 66 RBIs, 110 runs scored and 24 stolen bases over 137 games between Charlotte and Birmingham. He played in 73 games at shortstop, 41 at second base and 23 at third.

But these numbers did more than earn them promotions. Their efforts put players such as Johnson, Semien and Webb in play to break cramp with the team as part of the 2014 Major League roster.

As Semien said, the goal is to stay once a player arrives. But with immediate action likely coming on this current road trip, these players have too much to think about to try to analyze their futures.

"It would be a great opportunity," said Johnson of '14. "But you just have to take it start to start and make sure you're preparing each day before you go out there. What I try to accomplish is get better each day, whether you're playing catch, [throwing a] bullpen [session] or taking the mound for a game."

"Just keep working," said Semien, who is still scheduled to take part in the Arizona Fall League, as is Leesman. "That's not really my decision. I'm going to do everything I can to make that happen."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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