AL Central

Avisail Garcia Set to Be the White Sox Opening Day DH

Chicago White Sox outfielder/desigated hitter Avisail Garcia is struggling in the early going of the 2016 MLB season. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

The Chicago White Sox have settled on a designated hitter for opening day at least. In the aftermath of Adam LaRoche’s sudden retirement, there were many directions that the team could have gone in. But ultimately manager Robin Ventura has decided to stick with a familiar face for the time being. The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that outfielder Avisail Garcia will bat in the designated hitters spot on opening day against the Oakland Athletics on April 4th. Garcia is a very interesting choice.

The native of Venezuela had a decent spring training this year. He had a .333/.390/.1.056 slash line as he went 18-for-54 from the batters box in Arizona with four home runs, 17 RBI’s, 12 runs scored, and picked up a stolen base along the way. He did miss some time with a couple of injuries but he did manage to rebound from those bumps and bruises. Garcia is hoping to have a solid season after a lackluster 2015, an injury ravaged 2014, and after spending 2013 and 2012 bouncing back and forth between the majors and AAA. Being the DH will give him plenty of time to concentrate on his swing.

“I play for my team and I play for me, and my team especially. The most important thing is your team. I care about my team, me and my family. Those are the people who are going to be with you in good and bad situations,” Garcia said in an interview for the White Sox website recently.

Having a good support system is what has kept the 24-year-old level headed through all of the adversity. Of course with Garcia not on the field the White Sox will have to do a little bit of lineup shuffling. For opening day Adam Eaton is expected to start in right field, with Austin Jackson in center field, while Melky Cabrera will keep his spot in left field. Whether or not Garcia remains the DH beyond opening day depends on a variety of factors. The two main factors being how well he hits, and how much lineup shuffling Ventura is willing to do on a regular basis.

“Life is a good situation, bad situation. You have to thank God for everything because we are alive, we can breathe, we can see, we can hear, we are healthy. So why do you want to complain?” said an optimistic Garcia.

Here’s to hoping that optimism will turn into success for both him and the White Sox in 2016.

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