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Leesman to debut Friday night against Twins

CHICAGO -- Charlie Leesman will make his Major League debut and start Game 2 of Friday's split doubleheader against the Twins at U.S. Cellular Field, as announced by White Sox manager Robin Ventura on Wednesday.

"We needed another lefty," said Ventura in a highly sarcastic tone, with the White Sox already having four lefties in their starting rotation.

Leesman, 26, was an 11th-round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and had his strongest year for Triple-A Charlotte in 2012 with a 2.47 ERA over 26 starts. But he sustained a left knee injury during the International League playoffs and was rehabbing from surgery to repair his ACL during this past Spring Training.

The White Sox designated Leesman for assignment in April to make room for infielder Tyler Greene, but Leesman chose to stay in the White Sox system. Leesman ultimately could end up as part of the White Sox bullpen, but he will get his chance to start Friday as the 26th-man exemption for the doubleheader.

"There were points last year where he might have had a start," said Ventura of Leesman, who has a 3.47 ERA over 13 starts for Charlotte this season. "There was talk of having [Erik] Johnson doing it, but he's only been off the disabled list for two starts. We get good reports on Charlie, and let's see what we got."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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