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White Sox prospect Erik Johnson to make debut against Yankees Wednesday

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Righty takes Hector Santiago's start in New York as rotation expands for rest of season


Erik Johnson was officially added to the roster on Tuesday, and he'll see his first action on Wednesday. Robin Ventura said the White Sox's top prospect will make his major-league debut against the New York Yankees in the series finale. His first start will be against C.C. Sabathia, who will be making his 412th.

Johnson opened the year at Birmingham before advancing to Charlotte, and it's safe to say both his promotions this season are deserved:

2013 Birmingham 8 2 2.23 14 84.2 57 6 21 74
2013 Charlotte 4 1 1.57 10 57.1 43 1 19 57
12 3 1.96 24 142.0 100 7 40 131

Control issues have been few and far between, but one of his erratic starts took place in his Triple-A debut. He walked five batters on top of five hits over six innings, but escaped only allowing one run. The timing could be coincidental -- his demeanor suggests that he's not that excitable -- but new-levels jitters would be understandable, being human and all. He'd just probably pay a bigger price for them this time around.

He's taking Hector Santiago 's start, which probably comes as a disappointment to the Newark native. When he started against the Mets at Citi Field earlier this year, scores of friends and family came to watch him pitch. He might have had plans for this series, too, if this story from May held up:

It was Santiago’s second outing in New York — last season he made a relief appearance against the Yankees. But this time it was different. Santiago didn’t know he would be pitching against the Mets until last week because he is now in the starting rotation due to injury.

As a result, only 70 friends and family members attended the game. When he pitched against the Yankees, nearly 200 people were in attendance, including players from the Rick Cerone and Roberto Clemente Little Leagues in Newark.

Santiago said the plan is to have little leaguers watch him pitch when the White Sox visit Yankee Stadium in early September.

Robin Ventura said the Sox will stretch their rotation to six men from here on out, although "rotation" may be a little too strictly defined. With Charlie Leesman also in the mix, it will probably be hard to project scheduled starters past the upcoming series.

Johnson is among six September callups. Leesman and Bryan Anderson preceded him, and three others joined Johnson on the roster today:

Leesman was the only player already on the 40-man roster, but the White Sox made room by moving Flowers and Brian Omogrosso to the 60-day disabled list. Omogrosso underwent season-ending surgery on Aug. 4 to "remove four loose bodies and shave down a bone spur in his right shoulder," which sounds more salacious than it probably is.