Baseball Magazine

Chicago White Sox: Sox Sign Tampa Bay First Baseman Dan Johnson

By Cbr66 @JKries

Chicago White Sox: Sox Sign Tampa Bay First Baseman Dan JohnsonThe Chicago White Sox are hoping to find some lightning in a bottle by signing former Tampa Bay Rays first baseman, Dan Johnson. Johnson, who was signed by the White Sox to a minor league deal this week, suffered a wrist injury last season and only had 91 plate appearances.

Johnson hasn’t had a full workload since hitting 18 home runs with the Oakland A’s in 2007. He will likely be nothing more than a utility left-handed power bat if he makes the opening day roster, but he could be valuable either by spelling Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn occasionally, or possibly stepping in if one of the Sox sluggers gets injured, or in Dunn’s case, continues to carry a slugging percentage south of .300.

Johnson was hit on the wrist in April by a Matt Capps pitch, and didn’t see the field for most of the season. Prior to the injury, the left-handed Johnson smacked a 3-run homer off the White Sox closer at the time, Matt Thornton. Johnson’s home run in the ninth inning of that game gave the Rays their first win of the season after suffering six losses. Johnson also figured in the Rays’ eventual playoff berth, hitting a pinch-hit, two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth of the Rays’ final regular season game against the New York Yankees. That home run extended the game and the Rays’ season until Evan Longoria hit one out in the 12th inning, vaulting the Rays into the postseason.

Johnson is the type of player the White Sox may need to fill the gaps left by key players leaving town, and after GM Kenny Williams made it clear during SoxFest that the White Sox are “tapped out” and won’t be adding payroll this season. While that revelation probably won’t surprise any White Sox fans, it also adds to the general lethargy and low expectations of the Sox fan base heading into this upcoming season. While the White Sox do need to shed some payroll after a disappointing 2011 season, their currently weak farm system will remain that way while the Sox are still weighted down by some expensive, non-performing assets.

The message is clear. What you see is what you get in 2012. The White Sox are a team with more than a dozen “ifs”. If Jake Peavy can pitch like he did in the National League… If Adam Dunn can hit above a replacement-level player…. If Alex Rios can at least look like he cares to be on the field…. If Dayan Viciedo can hit like he did in the minor leagues….the White Sox might have a chance.

Those are just some of the many question marks the Sox roster is dotted with going into the 2012 season. One final if: If the White Sox veterans who struggled in 2011 can regain their form and live up to their huge contracts, the team may make some noise in the AL Central.

Chicago White Sox: Sox Sign Tampa Bay First Baseman Dan Johnson
By signing an inexpensive player like Johnson, the White Sox could get 10-15 home runs from a left-handed hitter who has obviously performed well during big moments. Johnson has a career ISO of .170 in 1,520 career plate appearances, over six seasons. Not a bad number when compared to Paul Konerko’s lifetime .218 ISO, and it’s a much better option than Mark Teahan, the Sox’s left-handed option last season, who carries a career .145 ISO. Johnson’s not a prolific power hitter, but has shown that when he can play regularly, he can put some balls in the bleachers with some consistency.

While he might not even make the opening day roster, Dan Johnson might be a nice surprise for the White Sox in 2012, and he will hopefully see some meaningful at-bats as he did for the Rays last season.

-James Kries


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • The Worst Christmas Specials Ever. Still.

    Worst Christmas Specials Ever. Still.

    Exactly ten years ago I shared this wonderful relic of the Olde Days of the Blogosphere, by John Scalzi. It was old then, and it's even older now. Still make... Read more

    10 hours, 31 minutes ago by   Russellarbenfox
    SOCIETY
  • Happiness Is... Getting Used to the Mayhem

    Happiness Is... Getting Used Mayhem

    I know, half of the school holidays has gone by in a flash and we are nearing mid-December already! How can it be, right? That means we only have a few more... Read more

    12 hours, 1 minute ago by   A Happy Mum
    FAMILY, SELF EXPRESSION
  • How Speaking Up Can Create Greater Happiness and Success

    Speaking Create Greater Happiness Success

    It's not always easy to find the words when you don't know what the reaction will be, but just how much do we avoid speaking up? According to research, 72% of... Read more

    The 11 December 2018 by   Ncrimaldi
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • MDM Recordings Introduces TJ Miller

    Recordings Introduces Miller

    MDM Recordings unveiled a new member of their label family on Monday night at the Canadian Country Music Association office in Toronto, introducing a small grou... Read more

    The 11 December 2018 by   Phjoshua
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • 15 Non-toy Gift Ideas for Kids

    Non-toy Gift Ideas Kids

    With Christmas just two weeks away, the pressure is on. And if your kids or the kids you’re buying for are like my kids, they really don’t NEED anything. Read more

    The 11 December 2018 by   Thesamanthashow
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Handle with Care: Consolidating Bill Traylor’s Artwork

    Conservator Catherine Maynor has extensive expertise caring for works on paper at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, including many by self-taught artists,... Read more

    The 11 December 2018 by   Americanart
    ART & DESIGN, CULTURE
  • Recipe: South African Three Bean Salad1 Min Read

    Recipe: South African Three Bean Salad1 Read

    Summer in South Africa means Braai - their word for BBQ. This light and bright salad makes the ideal complement to traditional BBQ fare. Serve it alongside... Read more

    The 11 December 2018 by   Healthytravelblog
    TRAVEL

Magazines