BOSTON — He’d prefer not to be in a position where he required a two-day breather, but Adam LaRoche is on board with the idea.
Locked in one of the worst slumps of his career, LaRoche was out of the lineup for a second straight game on Tuesday by design. Of the belief that two days off could get the veteran far enough away from his struggles, manager Robin Ventura wants LaRoche to work on his approach without having to worry about the results. LaRoche said the timing is right.
“I’m healing,” LaRoche said. “My pride has been injured a little bit.
“I told Robin, ‘I don’t want it, but I know I need it.’ I’ve played long enough to where I know there’s a time when you are just fighting against yourself every day. I think he could sense it and he’s been there, and that’s why I think he said now is the time to take a day or two and kind of relax and try to reset.”
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LaRoche has a .212/.306/.347 slash line with nine home runs and 34 RBIs in 356 plate appearances this season. He is striking out in 30 percent of his plate appearances, about eight more than his career average. But Ventura hopes LaRoche is able to focus on his stats the rest of the way rather than those he accumulated over the season’s four months.
“What we really care about is this point forward,” Ventura said. “A lot of guys want to look at the full year picture, but all that matters is right now going forward. You want to get him in a good spot and swinging it like he can.”
LaRoche is in the first season of a two-year, $25-million deal. His slow campaign hasn’t removed him from the team’s plans — they signed him to play a big role in the offense and intend to get LaRoche back into the lineup. If the White Sox want to contend, they know they’ll need contributions from LaRoche. He has seen the team’s recent run of 36 runs in five games and wants nothing more than to get in on the action.
LaRoche believes the break can help him accomplish that goal.
“It will help, no question it will help,” LaRoche said. “I just want to help out. That’s the most frustrating part. Been there before, done it for plenty of years, and to not be able to do it for this long time, it just sucks. It’s a mental thing now, I will say that.
“I’m going to use these couple of days to kind of regroup. I told you guys before, it has been frustrating. I’ve tried to change small things that probably don’t show up. It hasn’t been a huge mechanical adjustment outside of some little things that you probably couldn’t see unless you were looking for them. They just don’t seem to be working, so keep fighting through it. Keep swinging.”