Usually a starter, Johnson bullpen insurance

White Sox bring up righty following Rodon's abbreviated outing

Usually a starter, Johnson bullpen insurance

CHICAGO -- In a perfect world for Robin Ventura, Erik Johnson's present stay with the White Sox won't be a long one.

And that analysis comes with no disrespect meant by the White Sox manager toward the right-hander, who was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte before Tuesday's 5-0 victory over the Angels.

"I hope not, in a lot of ways," Ventura said. "I have confidence in him, but that means we're having another game like [Monday] night if he gets in there."

Johnson, 26, has made 16 Major League appearances for the White Sox and all have been as a starter. He has three out of the bullpen among his 88 Minor League games, and will serve as bullpen insurance with the big league club. He did not appear in Tuesday's win.

Mat Latos knocked Johnson from the projected rotation once Tuesday's starter agreed to a one-year, $3 million free-agent deal before to Spring Training. But Johnson feels as if he got into a groove after he was optioned during March, resulting in 12 strikeouts and three walks over 10 2/3 innings in two starts this season at Charlotte.

"I felt like I was still getting my feet under me," said Johnson of his early Spring Training work. "After getting sent down and taking that down to the back field, I felt like I really came into my own and really stepped it up. I am where I need to be.

"Just getting my reps in, and getting my quality reps in. You come into camp, and for me personally, I have to take care of my routine and what I've got to do."

Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam and Dan Jennings were unavailable Tuesday after recording 23 outs when Carlos Rodon's start lasted one-third of an inning Monday. Ventura said the White Sox will go with 13 pitchers for the remainder of the homestand, which includes a three-game weekend set against the Rangers after this four-game series with the Angels.

Some might view Johnson as a potential rotation replacement for John Danks, who has struggled in his first two starts. But Danks isn't worrying about that make-or-break notion to produce in his next two or three starts, taking the mound Thursday afternoon against the Angels, and the White Sox usually don't overreact to a slow individual start.

"To this point, it's get them next time," Danks said. "I feel like if I throw the ball a little more like I did in Tampa rather than the first game, things will take care of itself.

"Goals and the agenda stay the same. Pound the strike zone down in the zone. Let these guys work behind me. As far as putting any added pressure, or thinking about anything else, I haven't gotten to that point just yet. I've done a lot of work. I feel good. I'm just going to go out there and pitch well."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.