Healthy again, Semien finding his timing

July 8th, 2017

SEATTLE -- When A's shortstop stepped into the batter's box for the first time after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured scaphoid bone in his right wrist, he said it took a little while to rediscover his stance.

Now that Semien is up with the Major League club after just completing an eight-game rehab assignment to cap off almost three months of recovery, he feels he's close to being back to form.

A 1-for-4 night -- which could have easily been two hits, had Mariners' left fielder Ben Gamel not robbed him of an extra-base hit -- showed as much during the A's 7-2 loss on Friday.

"Any time you come back to the lineup, it's going to be a little rusty to start. I think he felt that way yesterday," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "But I think today I thought he looked a lot more comfortable."

Semien's lone hit was a double that just snuck inside the third base line and down to the left-field corner, knocking in two runs for a 2-1 lead in the third inning. It was Semien's first double since returning from the 60-day disabled list on Thursday and just his third of the season.

Semien says his health is great, but he's still looking to regain his timing after the extended time off.

"There's just a lot more intensity," Semien said of playing in the Major Leagues. "Bigger crowd, everybody's the best up here. I just wanted to continue to work hard, put the work in the cage and watch video. I feel healthy, so it's just about getting the timing down."

Complaining of a nagging wrist injury, Semien landed on the disabled list after slashing .171/.370.221 in the first 11 games of the season. After hitting 27 homers a year ago, he had none to start the season. This marked the only significant injury of Semien's career.

But with the lengthy recovery, Semien acknowledged his health is better than ever, as emotionally painful as it was at the time.

"Once that happened I just wanted to focus on the rehab, focus on staying in shape," Semien said. There's a little bit more family time not travel, that was OK. But it's frustrating when you're sitting at home watching the team when the last two years you've been out there almost every day. It's good to be back, for sure."