White Sox

White Sox: Early struggles don't worry Adam LaRoche

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White Sox: Early struggles don't worry Adam LaRoche

He has never figured out why he struggles in April, but Adam LaRoche at least has an idea how to handle himself.

The White Sox designated hitter/first baseman’s .716 career OPS for April is 76 points lower than his next lowest month (June) and 95 below his overall .811.

While he’s frustrated, LaRoche, whose homer Saturday is only his second hit in 17 at-bats this season, knows he needs to slow down the process, that ramping it up can only do more damage. He hopes his teammates can shake off their early struggles as well and let their ability take over.

“When you struggle and you’re losing games, it makes it really tough,” LaRoche said. “If you’re struggling and you’re still winning games, you can get through that and it’s fine. But when you have a chance to help the team out and not do it — just as a group we need to relax and realize how good we are and let it happen.”

Whether it was the flu or a sore back, LaRoche missed a fair amount of time in spring training. He finished with 46 official at-bats but also played a few minor league games to get up to speed. While LaRoche has hit three balls hard, one resulted in a double and the other robbed by Lorenzo Cain, he’s still trying to get his feel at the plate.

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He’s also acclimating to his new DH role, something that is an adjustment but one he expects to make. Having indoor cages at his disposal helps, too.

“It’s different but I’ll get used to it,” LaRoche said. “It’s a lot easier here. Spring training you can’t go anywhere. Here you’ve got a cage down here and you can move around, go get some swings in between at-bats. It’ll be a little break-in period here but I’ll be fine.”

Manager Robin Ventura knows how much of an adjustment it is to go from the field to DH. Players have to find a way to stay busy and keep themselves focused. Though it has only been a few days, Ventura likes how LaRoche has handled it.

“You don't feel like you're really in the game as much as you do when you've always been a guy on the field,” Ventura said. “It can become an uncomfortable thing for some guys. He's getting better at it. He has some good guys to lean on and try to kind of get that feeling back. He's done well with it so far. He's not a guy for excuses.”

LaRoche also isn’t a guy who panics. He has been down that road before during his 11-year career and knows self-inflicted damage is the worst kind. The experience gives him confidence he’s due for a hot streak.

“This is nothing I haven’t been through before,” LaRoche said. “I’ve had a lot of years where it has taken me a minute to get going. The bright side there is I’ve been through it before. A younger me would get really frustrated, but I know that doesn’t help accomplish anything.”

Michael Kopech electric in start vs. Pawtucket

Michael Kopech electric in start vs. Pawtucket

The Charlotte Knights took on the Pawtucket Red Sox on Thursday night in a high-profile minor league game due to White Sox No. 2 prospect Michael Kopech being on the mound. 

Kopech, the 22-yearold old flame throwing right-hander, has been collecting impressive strikeout totals but has struggled with his control. He had issued 15 walks over his last five starts, and prior to Thursday's game his ERA was 4.48. But Kopech shined in all facets against Pawtucket.

In six innings of work, Kopech allowed one earned run on seven hits, and had nine strikeouts. But the most important part of his game was that fact that he only issued one walk in the start.

Prior to Thursday's game, Kopech had 122 strikeouts and 57 walks over 88.1 innings pitched. If he continues to cut down his walks he will become a very efficient pitcher in the future. 

But the performance is important in the context of the White Sox losing season, as a lack of control is perhaps the last thing holding Kopech back from being able to make his major league debut.

 

Lucas Giolito has some fun with the not so dark side of his Twitter history

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USA TODAY

Lucas Giolito has some fun with the not so dark side of his Twitter history

White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito isn't having a great season, but at least it looks like his Twitter account could pass a background check.

A Twitter user dug through some of Giolito's tweets from his teenage years. He didn't find much in the way of hateful, mean or angry tweets. Instead, he found candy, touch tanks at the aquarium and animated movies.

The tweet got plenty of attention on the platform, leading Giolito to comment on it. Giolito took the joke with a good sense of humor and made a joke at his own expense.

This kind of makes you wonder what else would qualify as Giolito's "dark side." Maybe this will spawn a series of Lucas Giolito facts like the very tame version of Chuck Norris or The Most Interesting Man in the World.