GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The hope is Adam LaRoche can get off to a strong start and rebound in his second season with the White Sox.
At the very least, he has started this spring off quickly.
Playing in his first game, LaRoche homered in three at-bats in Friday’s 5-5 tie with the Cleveland Indians. LaRoche hit the solo blast off Indians left-hander Ross Detwiler. Brett Lawrie and Jason Coats also had solo home runs for the White Sox.
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“He’s got a little different snap to him as far as swinging the bat,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of LaRoche. “It looks a lot better. I know he’s in great shape, and the ball is coming off the bat a little better than it has, even last year. For now, it’s good to see him, especially against a lefty, get something like that.”
Great is not a word likely ever to be associated with LaRoche’s 2015 campaign.
Signed to be a left-handed power threat, LaRoche hit .207/.293/.340 with 12 homers. But the White Sox have deemed him a bounce-back candidate and subscribe to the every-other-year theory with the veteran. Whereas he has struggled in the past three odd years, LaRoche succeeded in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. The White Sox want to see the trend continue and like what they’ve seen so far this spring.
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“I think he just feels better,” Ventura said. “It’s every other year. We’re looking for the even year.
“On the backfields, seeing him swing the bat, it looks different. It’s got a little more life to it. When a guy is swinging the bat, you can see it.”