CHICAGO -- The White Sox optioned starter Erik Johnson to Triple-A Charlotte following Saturday's 4-0 loss to the Rays. Right-hander Scott Carroll will be promoted from Charlotte to take Johnson's spot and start Sunday's game, which will be his Major League debut.
Johnson at times showed why he made the rotation out of Spring Training, pumping a fastball in the mid-90s with a plus-slider. He has struggled with his command, however, walking 15 in 23 2/3 innings. On Friday against Tampa Bay, Johnson's ERA rose to 6.46 after he lasted just 1 2/3 innings while allowing four earned runs with four walks and one strikeout.
"I think it's just something where I have to go down and refine my stuff and get it back to where it was, and hopefully come back up and help the team as best as I can," Johnson said.
The 29-year-old Carroll is a career Minor Leaguer with a 3.95 ERA and 2.07 strikeout-to-walk ratio in eight seasons. He is 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA while walking nine and striking out 13 in four starts for Charlotte this year.
"He's doing pretty good down in Triple-A," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "For us, it's 'give the guy a shot.'"
Johnson impressed during his September callup last season, going 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA in five starts covering 27 2/3 innings. He'll look to rediscover that form with Charlotte.
"They just said, 'You're going down to Charlotte,'" Johnson said. "Y'ou need to just get your stuff back and be who you are and just get back to what you know how to do.'
"No one expects to go down. I think it's definitely a privilege to be in the big leagues and it's a privilege to play here and you've got to bring it every day. Right now what I'm doing is not what gets results out there."
Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.