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Gillaspie shaking off three-error performance

Gillaspie shaking off three-error performance


CHICAGO -- White Sox infielder Conor Gillaspie was not in Wednesday's starting lineup against Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez. But Marcus Semien getting the call at third base certainly doesn't indicate a loss in confidence from manager Robin Ventura after Gillaspie's three errors in Tuesday's 9-1 defeat.

In fact, Ventura wanted to make sure that Gillaspie knows it was just one of those nights for the hard-working young man.

"It's not always easy to talk to a younger player and for him to know that pretty much the whole coaching staff has had nights like that," Ventura said. "It's not one of those where you look at it as that's really the player he is.

"I've had a night like that. I totally understand it. You don't sleep well because you care. He's a good player, had a bad night, and you don't always want to hear that that night. I think you come back today and kind of talk about and go over it and kind of get over it."

After coming over from the Giants in a Spring Training trade, Gillaspie worked extra hours with coach Joe McEwing to improve his infield defense. He has gotten better in the field overall as part of a breakout rookie campaign, according to Ventura, with possibly one current caveat.

"You can get to the point where you don't feel that comfortable as far as you feel in-between," Ventura said. "That's something he's had this year. Having played there, that's a part of playing third base, you're going to have a lot of times where you're in-between on hops and where you're playing.

"When it starts happening to you, you get the ball that goes off your shoulder, you get the ball that goes off the lip. That's just stuff you can't really prepare for. You just have to react and go on. But that's what makes that position difficult."

Gillaspie faced the media postgame on Tuesday with veteran poise. He talked about laughing in 10 years at the most errors made in a single game by a White Sox player since Andy Gonzalez on Aug. 30, 2007. And Ventura thought that was the best statement delivered from the often times overly self-critical young player.

"That's about how long it takes for you to be able to laugh about it," said a smiling Ventura. "It is what it is and I know he's a good player and he cares. I don't know what took over his body, but that's not the player that you see going in the future. That's the tough part of playing the game, is to be able to have nights like that and be able to put them behind and just keep going."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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