White Sox rookie Marcus Semien could be tried in outfield

White Sox rookie Marcus Semien could be tried in outfield
June 2, 2014, 9:15 pm
Share This Post

LOS ANGELES -- There has been some speculation prospect Micah Johnson could be headed for the outfield but Marcus Semien may get the first try.

Manager Robin Ventura suggested the White Sox may put Semien, who was sent to Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday to make room for Jose Abreu on the 25-man roster, in the outfield to see how he handles a potential transition.

With every infielder swinging a hot bat, Semien found it hard to get at-bats in the majors after Conor Gillaspie was activated off the disabled list.

[MORE: White Sox have productive first full day of draft debates]

The rookie still has made steady contributions in spite of limited playing time, but the White Sox want him to get regular at-bats. But just how Semien would get those plate appearances at Charlotte with Johnson and prospects Carlos Sanchez and Matt Davidson on the roster seemed to be as much of a challenge, though Johnson is currently on the DL.

But Ventura suggested Semien will at least practice in the outfield when he arrives.

“I know he’s going to work on taking some fly balls and do things like that,” Ventura said. “Whether he plays out there will depend on how adaptable he is to being able to do it.”

Ventura is in favor of the idea.

[RELATED: White Sox aren't looking at big picture just yet]

Semien struggled at times but also has had a number of big hits for the White Sox this season, including a go-ahead grand slam at Detroit on April 23. Of Semien’s 18 RBIs this season, 12 have come in the seventh inning or later.

The White Sox are stretched thin in the outfield because of Avisail Garcia’s season-ending injury.

“I wouldn’t mind if Marcus, just to have the ability to do it, kind of stretch his range, somewhat to be able to play all over the field,” Ventura said. “Those guys are valuable to have. In the future, you might be a guy who plays in one spot, but for right now, it would be nice to have a guy who can play all over.”

Day off for Dunn

A rough stretch for Adam Dunn meant a day on the bench even though the slugger has hit well against Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, Ventura said. Dunn is 8-for-13 with two doubles and four home runs against the two-time Cy Young winner in his career. But Dunn, who has two hits in his last 21 at-bats, including 10 strikeouts, said he isn’t surprised to have been given the day off.

“I think he was getting to a point where he needed a day anyway,” Ventura said. “And this will be a pretty good day to do it. He has decent numbers against him. I think even the way Kershaw has been throwing, sitting there and thinking today would be a good day to do it.”

[ALSO: Semien not complaining about demotion to minors]

Ventura suggested Dunn could start in the outfield Tuesday against right-hander Dan Haren.

Other notes

-- White Sox starting pitchers have a 2.31 ERA in 74 innings pitched over the past 12 games, the second-best mark in the majors behind San Francisco (1.92).

-- Left-handed hitters are 0-for-32 with two walks against White Sox ace Chris Sale this season. Sale is 5-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings. He has allowed 19 hits and eight walks.