White Sox make it clear they're high on Marcus Semien

White Sox make it clear they're high on Marcus Semien
May 7, 2014, 8:15 pm

It’s pretty evident that the White Sox hold Marcus Semien in high favor.

They offered more proof to that point on Wednesday when they kept the rookie in the majors despite making a move that should cut into his playing time and leaves them short-handed in the outfield.

The White Sox activated Conor Gillaspie off the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Jordan Danks to Triple- A Charlotte.

Rather than send Semien down to the minors, the White Sox will find playing time for him even with Gillaspie and Gordon Beckham also on the roster.

[NOTES: Johnson expected to stay in Charlotte for at least another start]

“Sem can play quite a few positions,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “There’s enough for him to be in the mix and get him some opportunities to still be up here and get at-bats and help us win. I think he deserves to be up here the way he’s been playing.”

Semien entered Wednesday’s contest with a .213/.267/.346 slash line, three home runs and 16 RBIs. He also has struck out 45 times in 146 plate appearances and has often looked like a rookie.

Because of injuries to Beckham and Gillaspie, Semien has appeared in 32 of 34 games this season, meaning even when a hard-throwing right-hander has been on the mound, the White Sox have played him. They haven’t been able to protect him against Justin Verlander or Max Scherzer and play him in favorable matchups.

The White Sox know the difficult of a spot in which they’ve placed Semien, 23, and love that even though he has struggled he still has come through in the clutch. Semien has five go-ahead RBIs from the sixth inning on.

So while it will take creativity to juggle the trio of infielders, Ventura has confidence Semien will find his way into the lineup.

[ALSO: Micah Johnson working his way up through the farm system]

“We’ll find a way to play him,” Ventura said.

The same goes for Moises Sierra, whom the White Sox believe is a talented outfielder who was the victim of a roster crunch with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Because they sent Danks to Charlotte, Sierra is one of three regular outfielders on the roster.

Sierra was a last-minute replacement for Adam Dunn on Tuesday and responded by going 4-for-4.

With Adam Eaton on the DL until May 18, Sierra has an opportunity to showcase that talent. Ventura said Dunn potentially could see more playing time in left field but Sierra is likely to play alongside Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza for now.

Leury Garcia, who has four career games played in center, becomes the team’s primary defensive replacement in the outfield.