By Jake Rill
BALTIMORE – On Wednesday, Marcus Semien made his major league debut at third base for the White Sox and he didn’t wait long to contribute.
The 22-year-old went 2 for 4 with an RBI, although the Sox’s comeback attempt fell short.
Semien found himself back in the starting lineup Saturday, batting ninth and playing third against the Baltimore Orioles.
“It’s always exciting when you’re playing,” Semien said. “I’ve been happy to be up here, I’m trying to learn as much as I can. Today, just try to treat it like any other game and do my best.”
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Semien hit .284 with 19 homers and 66 RBIs combined for Class-AA Birmingham and Class-AAA Charlotte earlier this season. Now, he’s trying to carry that success over to the big leagues, while absorbing knowledge from his veteran teammates.
“I talked a lot with some of the coaches as well when I’m on the bench,” Semien said. “They’ve been here for a long time and they’ve seen the major league game for a long time and so obviously my first couple of days up here I’m trying to learn everything I can, as fast as I can.”
He’ll also be trying to help give the White Sox lineup a much-needed boost. The Sox have scored just one run over the first two games of their series against Baltimore, and haven’t scored in their last 15 innings.
For Semien, it’s been different coming off the bench, as he had been starting in the minors. But he said he’s adjusting to the role, taking early batting practice and groundballs, and focusing on doing anything he can to contribute.
“Obviously in the minor leagues I played pretty much every day,” Semien said. “So it’s the first time I’ve been coming off the bench, but I’m just trying to do my best, be ready when my name is called.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he wants to continue to see what Semien can contribute to the team, particularly as he continues to look ahead to next season.
“He looked like he belong, and that’s part of him being up here is to get him in games,” Ventura said. “He’s going to get some opportunities as we continue to go along. … This is what they’re dreaming to do, so once they get to this point, you let them play.”
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Like many of the Sox players, Semien said he is looking forward to this road trip, which the team is 0-8 on, and return to Chicago. But for Semien, it will be his first trip to U.S. Cellular Field, and he said he is excited to get there.
“I hear Chicago’s awesome, so I’ll be ready,” Semien said. “I’m pretty excited.”