Marcus Semien may not be in Monday’s lineup but it doesn’t mean he won’t be active.
The White Sox rookie infielder, who is 7-for-19 on the homestand and has four multi-hit games since his promotion earlier this month, has tried to take advantage of his position even when he’s not on the field.
Semien -- who has a .346/.370/.385 line in eight games -- played in the White Sox last four contests. While he won’t start on Monday, Semien already began the day’s work by observing his veteran teammates closely from the moment he arrived at the clubhouse.
“What they do to prepare for the game is what got them here and kept them here for a long time,” Semien said. “Just trying to watch and learn as much as I can. Also listen to the coaches and just soak everything, be a sponge. That’s what I’ve been doing.”
Semien planned to head to the cages for some early hitting and to study scouting reports and video of opposing pitchers. Because he began the season in the Southern League, Semien, 22, has limited knowledge of the pitchers he would face over the final 13 games. He believes the only pitcher in the majors he had faced before this month was Indians righty Preston Guilmet, who he might have batted against in college.
While his experience is limited, Semien has taken advantage of an abundance of information at his fingertips.
“You have a lot more resources here with video and scouting reports so I try to take advantage,” Semien said. “I haven’t seen many of these pitchers yet. I came from the minors. We’ve got 10 teams in the Southern League, you know everybody. That’s another reason you’ve got to do your homework here is because you don’t want to go into the game not knowing what they’re going to do to you, especially when they throw strikes with every pitch.”
Getting his book up to speed has helped Semien avoid looking too far ahead. The rookie began the season at Double-A Birmingham and rose all the way to the majors because of a power/speed combo and a good eye. There’s been speculation Semien could make a push for the major league roster next spring, not that you’d know it talking to him.
“Think about today and can’t worry about the future right now,” Semien said. “Just thinking about what I’m doing right here and that will keep me focused. … Worry about next year when I get there.”
Ramon Troncoso pitched two innings Sunday in his first action since Aug. 15. The right-hander had been hospitalized last month with pericarditis, which is the swelling of the lining around the heart. Troncoso began to rehab earlier this month and had pitched in a series of bullpens and simulated games before he played for the White Sox. He allowed a run over two innings in a 7-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
“It’s nice to have him back,” manager Robin Ventura said. “That stuff is scary when there is something going on that you can’t really see. Usually it’s a shoulder, you can physically see something wrong with somebody. But when you start dealing with hearts and things like that it’s nice that he’s able to come back and at least get back on the mound before the end of the year and prove to us and everybody else he’s healthy.”
Garcia’s wife gives birth
Outfielder Avisail Garcia will miss a second straight game after his wife, Anakarina, gave birth to the couple’s first child, a girl, on Monday morning. Ventura said he gave Garcia the day of to spend with his wife and daughter, Annarella.
-- Birmingham defeated Mobile 4-2 in Game 5 on Sunday night to clinch a Southern League championship, the Barons’ first title since 2002. Micah Johnson was named the series MVP. He went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs in Game 5. Dan Black, Mike Blanke and Cody Puckett each had two hits while Myles Jaye earned the victory. Jaye allowed two earned runs over five innings.
-- Any ticketholders from Sunday’s rain-delayed contest are being offered a free ticket to an April 2014 White Sox game with the exception of Opening Day and the Boston Red Sox series. The start of Sunday’s game was delayed by 4 hours, 23 minutes. Once 2014 tickets go on sale, fans can bring their ticket stub or mail it to the U.S. Cellular Field box office to redeem it for a best available outfield reserved or upper level seat.