The White Sox have dealt with terrible luck on the injury front all season. While you could certainly make the argument of “Hey, it’s a retooling year, so better now than later”, injuries still suck, plain and simple. Especially when they delay a youngster’s maturation process.
On Wednesday afternoon we learned that potential second baseman of the future, Micah Johnson, has been shut down for the remainder of the 2014 season after an existing hamstring injury flared up over the weekend.
If it weren’t late August, the headline would read “Micah Johnson out Four to Six Weeks,” but with only so much time left before the season wraps up, there’s simply no reason to rush the top prospect.
General Manager Rick Hahn said the following on this disappointing matter …
“He’s been fighting through it, he wanted to continue to fight through it. He did not want to be shut down and felt he could play through it, but we just thought it would be more prudent to allow the thing a chance to heal and put it completely behind him so he can return to being that type of primarily speed-based player when he gets back … We expect he should be 100 percent and go into next season without restriction.”
That final sentence is great to hear, as most expect Johnson to have the inside track to starting second baseman job come Opening Day 2015. And despite how great it would have been for him to gain big league experience throughout September, it’s just too much of a risk to rush him back, especially considering that he’s a player who depends on his legs so heavily.
Micah broke onto the scene in 2013, hitting .312/.373/.451 while clubbing 46 extra-base hits and stealing 84 bases over 131 games. While there has been a drop off this year, that was expected for the 23 year old getting his first extended action in double- and triple-A. But he has been pretty solid, hitting .294/.351/.403.
If I had to pick which prospect has the best shot at starting at second on Opening Day next year, I’d still say it’s Johnson, but the extra playing time sure to now be there for others like Carlos Sanchez and Marcus Semien could potentially tighten the gap if either of them stand out.
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