Rookie Johnson prepares for second start

Rookie Johnson prepares for second start
September 9, 2013, 7:00 pm
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The real evaluation of Erik Johnson begins now, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Monday.

Johnson makes his second career start on Tuesday night against the Detroit Tigers.  Ventura thought Johnson had several positives to build off from his first start -- on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium -- but said the counter has been reset to zero.

Johnson, the team’s second-round pick in 2011, took a loss at Yankee Stadium but pitched six innings.

“The first games, you kind of put those on one side and judge them from here on out,” Ventura said. “Whether he did well or didn’t do so well, it’s about how you do over a period of time. With him coming up and having a September start, you’re going to be able to see a lot more than just one outing. I don’t know too many guys if you’re judged on one at-bat or one performance, I don’t think that’s fair, so you kind of go for more than that.”

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Johnson had both strong and weak points in his start. He struck out Ichiro Suzuki to strand the bases loaded in the first inning. He also set down seven in a row and finished by retiring seven of the last nine he faced.

Johnson also allowed five runs (three earned).

He said he’s trying not to make too much of his upcoming start.

“I'm looking forward to it, but it's just like any other start,” Johnson said. “I try to treat each start like that and hopefully I'll build off my first one and the second one goes as planned.”

Cooper returns

Pitching coach Don Cooper returned to the bench Monday after he missed three games with stomach pain.

Cooper, who missed 10 games earlier this season after he was diagnosed with diverticulitis, experienced some of the same symptoms when the White Sox were in Baltimore over the weekend. Ventura said Cooper would be checked out Monday but could return.

“He seems fine,” Ventura said. “If he feels good enough, he’ll be here today. So that’s good.”

Et cetera

-- The White Sox have committed 13 errors over the past nine games and rank last in the American League with a .980 fielding percentage.

-- The White Sox scored 29 runs over their 10-game road trip, lowering their season average to 3.74. The team is on pace for 606 runs scored, which would be the sixth fewest by a team in franchise history in a 162-game season.