CHICAGO -- Even before the first Chicago White Sox trade has gone down, the team has started the retooling process with the move Friday to call up catching prospect Josh Phegley.
"He's here to play," Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He's earned the right to come up. You get him in there as quick as you can, get their feet wet tonight, and he's used to catching (Dylan) Axelrod, so it's a natural fit."
In addition to Phegley being recalled, catcher Hector Gimenez was designated for assignment. Outfielder Blake Tekotte was also called up. He will replace Jordan Danks, who was optioned to Charlotte on Thursday.
The move to call up the 25-year-old Phegley means he will miss his opportunity to play in the July 14 Futures Game in New York, not that the 5-foot-10, 220-pounder will mind. He also will miss his chance to play in the July 17 Triple-A All-Star Game.
Phegley said he hadn't been thinking about getting called up.
"You're putting together a good year and I was just concentrating on helping those guys over there," he said. "I couldn't really think about doing things up here. It's definitely not the same level, though. It is the same game, though, same mindset, carry that over the same approach."
The former 38th overall pick in the 2009 draft was batting .316 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs at Triple-A Charlotte. Known more for his offense than his defense after he was drafted out of Indiana, Phegley won a minor league Gold Glove Award last season.
In 2010, Phegley suffered from a rare autoimmune disorder that caused him to have lowered blood-platelet levels. The potential for internal bleeding was the biggest concern, but the issue was reversed when doctors removed Phegley's spleen.
White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers has stumbled in his first full season behind the plate as the replacement for A.J. Pierzynski. Flowers is batting just .208 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs this year, but he has done a solid job working with the pitching staff.
Now comes the challenge for the White Sox: how to find playing time for both Flowers and Phegley.
The simple idea would be to have one catch while putting the other in the designated-hitter spot each night since Paul Konerko is on the disabled list. But because the team will be carrying only two catchers, that scenario doesn't seem likely.
It seems more likely that Phegley will receive the bulk of the catching chances in the early going while Flowers is reduced to a backup role, though he's expected to play more than Gimenez did.
"They're sharing it," Ventura said. "Flo will get some playing time. This is baseball. You have to be a good teammate, but he's here playing, he's still going to be playing."
Phegley doesn't expect any issues with the platoon.
"I've had a good working relationship with Tyler," Phegley said. "From my first big league camp until now, he's helped me along. He's already come up to me and told he anything I need he'll help me."