Trayce Thompson has played well, Adam LaRoche hasn’t and a left-handed pitcher was on the mound on Wednesday night.
The combination of those factors led to a second straight game off for LaRoche, who continues to struggle for the White Sox. And even though LaRoche’s playing time is up for grabs right now, it doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme -- if the veteran finds his stroke, the job is his. So far though, LaRoche hasn’t hit aside from a good week here or there. Through 401 plate appearances, LaRoche is hitting .213/.304/.344 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs.
“Anybody can lose their job, but I know we're better if (LaRoche) hits and produces like we know he can,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “Everybody has the chance of not playing and basically losing that opportunity. I hope he does well enough that he stays in there, but everybody has the ability to not play if somebody else is doing better.”
[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
For now, it’s Thompson, who started for the third time in four games on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Thompson hit the first home run of his major league career and he has four hits in nine at-bats.
Thompson was presented the ball from his first homer as well as a fake address to his brother Klay. But the rookie said he’s more concerned with Wednesday’s game than Tuesday’s.
“I’ve got to come out here and perform,” Thompson said. “I’m in the lineup today, so I’ve got to do it again today. Yesterday is over. It was awesome. It was an awesome moment, but I have to focus and come out here and do it again today.”
Ventura suggested LaRoche would return to thelineup on Friday against the Cubs after a third day off. The White Sox don’t play Thursday.
But Ventura left himself some wiggle room as he noted LaRoche would “probably” play Friday.
“There's time to go in thecage and work on it and clear your head,” Ventura said. “Again, we're going to need him to hit well if we're going to make a run at this. We want him to be a part of it. He's an important piece of that.
“You get to a point where you try to be too perfect. Everything you try to hit, you're not quite as confident going after it and letting it fly and at least thinking about the things you can control. It can be a mental thing.
“There's got to be some sort of mechanical thing, but I think it also is tied mentally, being confident,that feeling you want to have.”