NEW YORK -- With right-hander Erik Johnson one of the four players called up from Triple-A Charlotte prior to Tuesday night's game at Yankee Stadium, the White Sox have seven starting options available for the remainder of September. That total includes left-hander Charlie Leesman.
That total also means the White Sox rotation probably won't pitch on regular four days' rest for the final few weeks of the '13 season. This modified six-man rotation, as manager Robin Ventura called it on Tuesday, gives callups such as Johnson and Leesman a big league chance, while monitoring the workload of first-year starter Hector Santiago and other still young pitchers such as Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.
"We have enough guys now that it's probably more modified with having six guys being able to do it," Ventura said. "I wouldn't think anybody would be out there with four days. I'm talking about a guy that throws the regular amount [of pitches]. You're not going to see a guy on four days' rest."
"Our goal is to keep all of the guys healthy throughout the year, and that's starters and relievers," White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said. "It's not just starters. Some of the relievers have been at a good work clip. People don't realize even if it's three pitches for a third of an inning, you are getting hot and oiled up for five of six nights. That's not easy."
Santiago and Andre Rienzo, who will start Saturday and Sunday in Baltimore, respectively, already have surpassed their single-season highs for innings. Johnson has pitched 142 innings over 24 starts, but with his Major League debut set for Wednesday night in New York, he's poised for a few more starts.
"Whenever they send me back out there, I'm going to give it all I've got," Johnson said. "Every opportunity I get, I'll make the most of."
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.