Johnson remains in camp, but roster chances slim

Johnson remains in camp, but roster chances slim

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Micah Johnson has remained in camp until the last week of Spring Training, although his chances to break camp with the team are fairly remote.

His presence shows the high value placed upon last year's Minor League stolen base leader by the White Sox, who wanted to take as long of a look as possible at the fleet-footed second baseman.

"He's had an excellent camp," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn of Johnson, who began the 2013 season at Class A Kannapolis. "He's shown people who weren't familiar with him what he's capable of offensively. But he's also shown all of us who are familiar with him the improvement defensively which we asked him to make. He's still a work in progress."

If Gordon Beckham starts the season on the disabled list because of his strained left oblique, one school of thought is that Johnson could be put into an everyday role. He would provide a high octane one-two punch at the top of the order or give the White Sox some speed at the bottom.

But it doesn't sound as if a Johnson promotion is likely -- at least not that soon.

"It's certainly a long shot. I think some other things would have to happen before we took Micah," Hahn said. "When he gets to Chicago, we want him to be positioned to have success for the long haul.

"That might well be quicker than we anticipated based on the progress he's already made. But for that to be 2014 Opening Day is probably a bit of a rush."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for 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.