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Semien still valuable in part-time role for White Sox

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Semien still valuable in part-time role for White Sox play video for Semien still valuable in part-time role for White Sox

CHICAGO -- White Sox infield prospect Marcus Semien achieved personal goal No. 1 when he made the club out of Spring Training. He was thrust into the lineup immediately due to Gordon Beckham's injury and later played a solid third base while Conor Gillaspie was on the shelf.

Now that both Gillaspie and Beckham are healthy, Semien's playing time has decreased. He started nearly every game through May 7, when Gillaspie returned, but has since played in just five games, starting three.

Semien was hitting seventh and playing third on Saturday against the Yankees and left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno, Semien's first start since Monday in Kansas City. White Sox manager Robin Ventura is pleased with how Semien has adjusted to his part-time role.

"He's handled it. The other option is he's not here, so he's handled it pretty well," Ventura said with a laugh. "For him, I think there's some of it that he came up and he was playing every day, and it becomes tougher when you're doing that. You're seeing who you get on a daily basis and you're realizing this is the best of the best that you get every day, so I'm sure a breather wasn't all that bad for him. But he's going to play."

Semien is a valuable component off the bench in multiple ways. He's able to play second, shortstop and third, has shown the ability to come through in the clutch and late-game situations and gives Ventura the flexibility to play a righty with some power against left-handers instead of the left-handed-hitting Gillaspie.

Ventura noted that the hot hitting of Gillaspie and Beckham has made it tough to get Semien in the lineup, but added that Gillaspie simply needed a day off regardless of facing a left-handed pitcher.

But is there concern the 23-year-old Semien won't get consistent enough at-bats to develop properly? The short answer is, no. Ventura is confident he can find his versatile infielder enough opportunities.

"I mean, I don't see it as he has to be sent down, but you're looking at you'd like the guy to get some consistent at-bats, and part of it is doing this," Ventura said. "It's helping him and it's helping us, so that's the best part."

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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