White Sox like Johnson's speed from nine-hole

Chicago makes final moves before Opening Day

White Sox like Johnson's speed from nine-hole

KANSAS CITY -- The White Sox finalized their 25-man Opening Day roster on Sunday by placing right-handed pitcher Jake Petricka (right forearm strain) and left-handed pitchers Chris Sale (avulsion fracture of right foot) and Eric Surkamp (upper back strain) on the 15-day disabled list, all retroactive to March 27.

Right-handed pitcher Matt Albers, second baseman Micah Johnson and catcher Geovany Soto all officially were added to the 40-man roster, with the White Sox purchasing their contracts. The moves gave the final relief spot to Kyle Drabek, who will serve as the team's long reliever.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura also announced Sunday that Johnson had won the starting second base job, with the fleet-footed left-handed hitter batting ninth in the team's lineup on Monday against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Johnson, who swiped 84 bases at the Minor League level two years ago, had an exceptional camp and provides a second leadoff man, of sorts, hitting ninth and in front of Adam Eaton.

"I'm just happy to be in the lineup," said Johnson after Sunday's workout. "The nine hole, that's definitely something that's new to me. I got a few chances this spring but it's the same thing. My game doesn't change. Just get on base and let Eaton do what he has to do and Melky [Cabrera], [Jose] Abreu, [Adam] LaRoche, all those guys."

"Talking to him a little bit today after he knew he was going to get the start, I'm proud of him," Eaton said. "He's very excited for the opportunity. I'm very blessed to hit behind him. I'm pumped. When you can turn over a lineup like that with speed and aggressiveness, it's only going to add to the team and the spark to it."

Johnson's RBI single

• Ventura sees a little bit of Jack McDowell in Jeff Samardzija, the White Sox highly competitive Opening Day starter.

"There's an edge he has that raised everyone else around him up to that level," Ventura said. "He brings people with him, which is important for a pitcher. He's in the games even when he's not pitching. He has that competitiveness. Part of it is the football that he had. He's aware of everything that is going on."

"I'm excited to go," Samardzija said. "It's what we prepared for, it's what we do all the hard work in the offseason for, and it's time to take a deep breath tonight and get ready for the long stretch of the regular season."

• Sale remains on schedule to pitch in Arizona on Monday. If all goes well, the White Sox ace should return to the rotation on April 12 against the Twins at home.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.