Marcus Semien gets high marks from A’s infield coach Mike Gallego for the way he’s handled his error problems.
There is some good news about Marcus Semien’s defensive work this season. Really.
Mike Gallego, the A’s third base coach, handles the club’s infielders, and while Semien now has a league-worst 14 errors after one was reinstated on him Monday, Gallego is happy with the way Semien has handled himself through it all.
“A streak like this could break players; it’s happened,’’ Gallego said. “But you look at Marcus and it seems that he’s taking it in stride.
“If he makes one, he doesn’t dwell on it, and he’s out there every day during workouts, always wanting one more grounder to be hit at him.’’
It’s not like this kind of error explosion has never happened before. Not all players handle it the same. After finally arriving in the big leagues with the A’s in 1998, Miguel Tejada made 26 errors in 104 games, a total that would get him to 40 parsed out over a full season.
Semien’s total would get him to 58, but the A’s keep expecting him to settle in defensively and keep the errors to a relative minimum rather than the seven in his last eight games, a pace that A’s fans find extremely troubling.
“There are guys whose defense can get into their head and they can be broken,’’ Gallego said referring to Chuck Knoblauch and Steve Sax, both of whom has their careers cut short by their inability to throw from second base. “I don’t see that with Marcus. I think he’s going to be a good one.’’
Manager Bob Melvin remains clearly in Semien’s corner. Melvin has started him in all but one of the A’s first 39 games, and he was the starter for No. 40 Monday in Houston. Asked if he would use second baseman Ben Zobrist, expected to be back with the club next week, at shortstop some to spell Semien, Melvin said he didn’t see things playing out that way.
“At this point it’s difficult to do, because we’d be playing somebody out of position every time we wanted to give Marcus a day off. I’m not 100 percent sure, but if we give Marcus a day off, it probably would be (Eric Sogard) at shortstop and Zobrist at second.’’
Getting Zobrist back would allow for more days off for Semien because the A’s don’t have great depth at shortstop without their second baseman and Zobrist came up as a shortstop.