Ventura starts Semien over Ramirez at shortstop

Ventura starts Semien over Ramirez at shortstop
September 21, 2013, 5:00 pm
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DETROIT -- Marcus Semien is most comfortable at shortstop, where he will make his first major league start on Saturday night.

But with Alexei Ramirez locked in for the foreseeable future, the White Sox rookie has worked to get comfortable around the infield.

Semien, who has appeared 10 times at third base and three at second thus far for the White Sox, constantly moves around in batting practice on off days.

Prior to this minor-league season, Semien has primarily been a shortstop with 135 appearances in 167 games. This season he played 73 times at short and combined for 66 at second and third.

“I try to practice them all different and be as comfortable as I can at all of them,” Semien said. “Especially days I’m not playing, those are days I really work hard and move around pretty much every round of batting practice. If I’m playing that day, I’ll just take them wherever I’m playing that day.”

Members of the White Sox front office have said they’re not sure where Semien fits defensively but they feel as if his bat is major-league ready. White Sox manager Robin Ventura has used this month to experiment with Semien.

“You’re trying to see how flexible guys can be and where they can play and how comfortable they are there,” Ventura said. “We’re looking at how it’s going for next year and being able to slip him in there and see if he can hold up playing shortstop.”

Semien, who has a .314/.371/.324 line in 12 games with three RBIs, doesn’t mind to move around. He has enjoyed his tour of the infield with the White Sox. But he also didn’t hide his excitement for the chance to play shortstop on Saturday.

“[At] shortstop you get to show the most athletic ability,” Semien said. “At third base, playing next to Alexei, he has a lot of range toward my way so I feel like, not restricted over there, but sometimes he’s right there behind me when I go for a ball. At shortstop you kind of go and get everything. Third base is kind of step to your right, left, in or back. You don’t really run too far to get any ball.”

Ramirez, who is signed through 2015 with a $10 million club option for 2016, has started 151 of the team’s 153 games this season.