With Gordon Beckham away, Marcus Semien is making his case to stay
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter April 5, 2014 7:28PM
KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 5: John Danks #50 of the Chicago White Sox throws in the second inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 5, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 477579733
Updated: May 8, 2014 9:58AM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While Gordon Beckham (left oblique) continues his rehab stint with Class AA Birmingham, Marcus Semien knows that his increased playing time is an opportunity.
Batting second in the lineup shows what manager Robin Ventura thinks of his offensive potential.
“It’s a pretty big deal,’’ Ventura said. “Not too many guys get an opportunity like this, especially in the beginning of the year, to start up here and show what you can do.’’
When Beckham returns, Semien or Leury Garcia would likely be the odd man out. Semien might be better served playing every day in the minors, but he could get enough steady work platooning with lefty-hitting Conor Gillaspie at third while giving Beckham and shortstop Alexei Ramirez occasional days off. Ventura all along has wanted to have the flexibility of moving players in and out of the lineup. It fosters competition from within and keeps the regulars from getting complacent.
“You’re looking at how it makes us better, how it makes [Semien] better, you bring all those things into consideration,’’ Ventura said.
Semien hit a dramatic home run against the Twins on Thursday to break an 0-for-13 start and has shown some good things since, but Saturday, he failed for the third time this season to drive a runner in from third with less than two outs. He was 1-for-5 with a run scored including a strikeout in the ninth inning against closer Greg Holland with the tying run at second.
Showing resilience is something Semien has already proven “to be pretty good at,’’ Ventura said.