Tough season on, off field for Alexei Ramirez
FYI, Marcus Semien was 1-for-3 with a walk for Class AAA Charlotte Tuesday night. The 22-year-old prospect also stole a base and scored a run.
Tracking Semien has become fashionable this season because in Alexei Ramirez, the White Sox have a big problem at shortstop.
Offensively, Ramirez is OK with a .286 batting average and career-high 25 stolen bases. And he goes to the post every day. Against the Tigers this afternoon, Ramirez starts at short for the 119th time in 119 games.
Offensively, Ramirez has hit just 3 home runs, and 2 of them came in Friday's double-header against the Twins. Like many other Sox hitters, his on-base percentage (.312) in not good. In 482 at-bats, Ramirez has drawn just 16 walks.
Then, there is the defense.
Ramirez, the White Sox' starting shortstop since 2009 - he primarily played second base after joining the club in '08 - has deservedly earned Gold Glove consideration in season's past.
This year, Ramirez already has made 20 errors, matching his career high. He made 3 Es in Tuesday night's marathon win over Detroit.
The obvious question is - why not give Ramirez a day off? Maybe a string of days off?
The answer? Who is going to replace Ramirez?
Gordon Beckham has experience at short, and he played his old position earlier in the season during a rehab assignment with Charlotte. But Beckham does not appear to be a viable option for manager Robin Ventura.
Semien is, but you'll probably have to wait until September to see him in a White Sox uniform.
On Wednesday, Semien was voted the Southern League player of the month for July. Semien batted .372 with 8 home runs and 20 RBI for AA Birmingham last month. He was promoted to Charlotte on Aug. 1.
In 12 games at Triple-A, Semien is leading off and has a .265/.333/.490 slash line.
He also has 3 errors with Charlotte, so his defense is also a concern.
As for Ramirez, he is signed for two more seasons (at a total cost of $19.5 million) with a $10 million club option for 2016.
If you are White Sox GM Rick Hahn, do you try trading Ramirez this off-season? Can you trade Ramirez, who turns 32 next month, without eating much of his future salary?
Maybe the Sox give Ramirez a chance to turn it around next season.
While he comes ready to play every day, Ramirez has seemed to lack all-around focus this season.
You can blame it on an off-field issue. In spring training, Ramirez's father-in-law was killed.
“You can have a season where you're just not as good as other ones,” manager Robin Ventura said. “He'll come back and make a play that nobody else in the league can make. You don't know exactly what it is. He has a lot of other stuff going on that, it's tough to deal with at times. That's stuff that's off the field. It's hard to have him separate those two at times.”