AL Central

LaRoche’s Departure Gives Opportunities to Other White Sox Players

Chicago White Sox designated hitter/first baseman Adam LaRoche  decided to retire from baseball on Wednesday (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

Now that the circumstances behind Adam LaRoche’s decision to retire from baseball and walk away from his $13 million Chicago White Sox contract are clear, the team must officially move on. Even though the locker room and team management may disagree on the reasons behind LaRoche’s departure, there is still a 162-game season ahead of them. The White Sox can officially put LaRoche’s struggles of 2015 behind them and look to a new crop of players that can fill in for the rest of spring training. Unless of course general manager Rick Hahn and vice president Kenny Williams decide to bring on a new player.

Let’s assume for the meantime that they have faith in the current group of players that somebody can step up and fill LaRoche’s shoes (on the lineup card at least). There are two players currently in the clubhouse that have come to mind recently. One of those players is third baseman Matt Davidson. Davidson was part of the trade that brought Adam Eaton over from the Arizona Diamondbacks. After struggling at AAA-Charlotte for the last couple of seasons, Davidson seems to have finally found his swing in 2016 Cactus League play.

So far in Arizona Davidson has gone 10-for-24 at the plate with four home runs and seven runs batted in. He’s also scored seven runs and has a slash line of .417/.440/.1.398. While Davidson has made his career at third base, he does have a little experience playing first base. If he were to make the roster, he could play first in order to allow Jose Abreu to bat as the designated hitter to give him some time off of the field. His performance has turned heads and it comes at time when White Sox management has major decisions to make.

Another player that’s starting to get some buzz is backup first baseman Travis Ishikawa. He’s been a pro ball player since 2002 but most of his career has been spent touring the farm systems of multiple franchises. Ishikawa has seen limited action in spring training thus far but he’s managed to go 7-for-19 in the batters box with an RBI and three runs scored to his credit. His Cactus League slash line stands at .368/.455/.876. Ishikawa could be a solid compliment to Abreu if he’s kept on the roster.

For now all both men can do is continue to play their hearts out while management goes through their options before making a decision. Adam LaRoche will be missed in the clubhouse but the season will go on without him regardless.

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