Semien move clears spot for Abreu

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox created some roster space for Jose Abreu's return when they optioned infielder Marcus Semien to Triple-A Charlotte following Sunday’s 4-1 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Abreu, who has been out for two weeks with ankle tendonitis, is expected to be activated before Monday’s game at Los Angeles against the Dodgers.

Semien’s playing time had been reduced considerably since Gordon Beckham and Conor Gillaspie each have been productive offensively.

“That’s what they said, it’s to get my at-bats,” Semien said. “I never complain playing this game. A lot of stuff can happen. I’ll be ready to work in Charlotte.”

Semien played solid defense and was a clutch hitter, delivering 12 of his 18 RBIs in the seventh inning or later. And while the White Sox liked his ability to extend at-bats, which helps to wear down pitchers, he often struggled in two-strike counts. Semien had the third most strikeouts on the team with 57.

“Well, I know I did some good things,” he said. “I also have some things to work on. You always have stuff to work on in this game. It’s never going to be an easy game. You never have it figured out. I realize that and I’m very, I’m glad I have the right work ethic and I work hard everywhere I’m at. I’ll try to make the most of this new opportunity.”

Semien batted .218 with a .287 on-base percentage and hit three homers in 43 games. Despite the recent sporadic playing time he was 5-for-16 (.313) with three walks in his last five games.

He has started 22 times at third base this season and 16 more at second base. He has even made two starts as the designated hitter.

The White Sox now have an middle-infield logjam at Charlotte with Carlos Sanchez, Tyler Saladino, Micah Johnson and now Semien all on the Triple-A club. Matt Davidson is the regular third baseman at Charlotte.