The San Diego Padres sent starting pitcher James Shields to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for two minor league players on Saturday. One of those is right-handed pitcher Erik Johnson, according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune

Johnson was a second-round pick in 2011 by the White Sox out of Cal. The 26-year-old made his big league debut on Sept. 4, 2013, against the New York Yankees inside Yankee Stadium. He went six innings and gave up three earned runs.

That began an up-and-down tenure as an MLB starting pitcher. Johnson went 7-6 in 18 starts with a 4.50 ERA. He made two starts in 2016, both losses to the Boston Red Sox (May 5) and Cleveland Indians (May 23).

Johnson played well in eight Triple-A starts for the Charlotte Knights this year, going 2-1 with a 2.94 ERA.

Despite the inconsistent numbers, Johnson has shown he has talent. He was named the International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher in 2015 after going 11-8 in 22 starts with a 2.37 ERA. That’s Felix Hernandez territory when he won the 2010 American League Cy Young Award.

Based on that potential, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Padres insert Johnson into the starting rotation. San Diego came into Saturday at 22-34 and has nothing left to lose. It wouldn’t hurt to see if Johnson can be Shields’ immediate replacement.


Stats courtesy of

Read more MLB news on