When the Chicago White Sox reinstated regular third baseman Conor Gillaspie from the DL today, the team made the right decision in sending Jordan Danks back to Triple A Charlotte. In 41 at bats since being recalled from the minors on Apr. 10 on the heels of Avisail Garcia’s season-ending shoulder injury, Danks had a pitiful slash line of .098/.229/.195 with one home run, five RBIs and 20 strikeouts. When center fielder Adam Eaton joined Garcia on the DL, the White Sox acquired outfielder Moises Sierra, who went 4-for-4 last night, matching the same number of hits in one game that Danks had in 21 games.
Though it was pretty clear that Danks would be the odd man out when Gillaspie returned, a few days ago rookie Marcus Semien expressed consternation over his uncertain future. Semien had no reason to worry. On paper, Semien’s numbers don’t seem to merit staying with the White Sox. He has a .213/.267/.313 slash line, his 45 strikeouts tie him for first in all of baseball in that category and his four errors lead the White Sox.
However, Semien’s capacity for clutch hitting is almost unmatched on the White Sox so far. He’s hitting .412, third on the team, with 11 RBIs with runners in scoring position and two outs. In the seventh inning or later Semien has 11 RBIs, four behind team leader Jose Abreu’s 15, and his slash line improves to .271/.314/.542. On Monday night, Semien smacked a game-winning RBI double with two outs in the top of the 12th inning that boosted the White Sox over the Chicago Cubs.
It’s a good guess that with both Gillaspie and second baseman Gordon Beckham back with the White Sox, Semien will see reduced playing time. It could even be argued that it’s better to send him back down to the minors where he could definitely play every day. However, a chance to be more than a backup at the big league level could open for him sooner rather than later, especially if the White Sox decide to use Semien at third against lefties instead of the left-handed-hitting Gillaspie. If Beckham doesn’t start hitting consistently, Semien could also find himself back at second base.