The White Sox released a statement Wednesday afternoon announcing that third baseman Conor Gillaspie has been reinstated from the disabled list as his left hand contusion is now fully healed. Outfielder Jordan Danks has been demoted to AAA Charlotte to make room on the team’s 25-man roster.
Gillaspie, 26, was hitting .302/.347/.413 through 16 games before being sidelined on April 22. He tallied an impressive seven doubles and 12 RBI over his first 72 plate appearances and will provide the Sox’ lineup with a nice lefty presence they’ve been missing thanks to the injury bug.
Jordan Danks, fresh off an outstanding spring, went just 4-for-41 since being recalled. You may wonder why it was Danks and not Moises Sierra, who does not hit from the left side and does not provide great defense off the bench, that was sent down. Well, he’d have to be sent through waivers before being assigned to AAA, and apparently the club doesn’t want to risk losing him just yet.
Because Sierra does not play center field, it leaves Alejandro De Aza as the only guy capable of filling in for the injured Adam Eaton before his return. Sierra has played 24 games there in the minor leagues, for what that’s worth.
Leury Garcia can play outfield, so it’ll be interesting to see if Ventura turns to him over Viciedo in the late innings.
Because it was Danks sent down, it means Marcus Semien can accrue more major league experience. Many had speculated that it’d be him demoted when Gillaspie made his return, but apparently the team does not feel that assuring him every day at bats for the Knights is worth giving him the boot.
Even with Gillaspie and Gordon Beckham on the team, Semien should be able to get plenty of playing time. He can start at third base, where he’s proved plenty capable on defense, when most lefties are on the mound in Gillaspie’s place. He can also slide in for Beckham at second base on any given day. In fact, a lessened role for Gordon could help his trade stock moving forward and could also initiate some productive internal competition.
So if I had to guess, I’d expect at least two starts per week for Semien moving forward, with that number normally up between three and five. Of course that’s just speculation, but I cannot see Robin Ventura sitting him on the bench too often. If he were to, a reassignment to AAA would in fact be the better move.