With Conor Gillaspie returning, it’s decision time on Marcus Semien
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter May 6, 2014 10:18PM
Updated: June 8, 2014 6:44AM
Third baseman Conor Gillaspie
is expected to return from the disabled list Wednesday, which could mean a move to Class AAA Charlotte for the player who leads the White Sox in at-bats.
Marcus Semien, whose .220 average has been tolerable because of his speed, knack for making pitchers work, 16 RBI and flair for the dramatic late in games, would have to share time with the left-handed-hitting Gillaspie. If fourth outfielder Jordan Danks (.075) is sent down, the Sox will have to rely on utility infielder Leury Garcia (.267) or Adam Dunn as their fourth outfielder.
Continued development is the bigger issue for Semien, so the Sox have to decide whether he’s better off playing every day at Charlotte or moving around between third base and second base — spelling Gordon Beckham — or even shortstop.
“Yeah, I mean, you could have that,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. “That’s part of the thought process. You want to make sure that he’s able to play and continue to progress, and that stuff goes into the decision, and we’ll see what happens.”
Third-base coach Joe Mc- Ewing said Semien could be better off facing “the best pitchers in the world” four or five days a week instead of Class AAA pitching every day.
“That’s not a question for me,’’ Semien said. “We have a lot of depth here. We have a lot of capable players. Conor is doing well, and once he comes back, I can play anywhere in the infield, and I’m happy to play wherever they put me.’’
Semien had the game-winning RBI in the first game of the Cubs series, his 11th RBI in the seventh inning or later. All three of his homers have put the Sox in the lead in the seventh inning or later.
“His maturity level is a positive,’’ hitting coach Todd Steverson said.
“He can handle [playing part-time]. He’s already had a consistent amount of at-bats where he understands his swing. He maintains his swing well. It’s not like he’s a wild 21-year-old trying to understand what he’s all about. He has a good idea what he’s doing up there.’’
This and that
Dunn was a late scratch with a bruised right calf suffered when Starlin Castro brushed against him at first base Monday.
◆ Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija presented Paul Konerko with a “14” sign from the Wrigley Field scoreboard before the game.
It was Konerko’s last appearance at Wrigley.
◆ Chris Sale had a good session of long toss.
“There was no setback, so we continue to just let him kind of go at his pace,’’ Ventura said.