LaRoche breaks out with first White Sox home run
Sanchez optioned to Triple-A to make room for Sale
CHICAGO -- Adam LaRoche broke out of his early-season slump with a leadoff homer against Mike Pelfrey in the second inning of a 5-4 White Sox victory over the Twins on Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field. LaRoche, who started in the field for the first time, had been 1-for-14 up until that point.
But a somewhat slow start is nothing unusual for LaRoche. He is a career .263 hitter, with a .471 slugging percentage, but has a .222 April average with a .397 slugging percentage. Manager Robin Ventura wasn't worried, regardless of the numbers.
"He's a veteran guy, been through enough that it's not going to deter him," said Ventura of LaRoche. "He's got a history and a track record to go with it. So there's a lot of stuff that you feel comfortable as far as him coming out of it and swinging a good bat."
• Through five games, Emilio Bonifacio has just one at-bat. He joins J.B. Shuck, who delivered Saturday's game-winning, pinch-hit single, as the only position players yet to make a start.
"Just haven't found a spot there," said Ventura of starting Bonifacio. "If we're in a different situation, there's probably a spot in there to get him in.
"We're spending a lot of energy on trying to get it going offensively. There hasn't really been that spot to be able to get him in there, get him that spot to start. We did get him an at-bat the other day to try to start an inning and get something going, but haven't been able to get him in the lineup yet."
Ventura envisions Bonifacio's first start being somewhere in the outfield.
• The discussion as to whether four or five games is too early to judge a team falls as a bit of a moot point for White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams. He simply wants this team to relax and play up to its capabilities.
"Who the [heck] wants to have a bad start? Who the [heck] wants to leave Spring Training and wants to go 0-for-4, and do it in a fashion where we have, where it's sloppy baseball and we're playing tight and you're not showing the talented club we are?" Williams said. "But that's the bad news.
"The good news is, this is an awfully talented group and I'm very confident in the grind that's about to take place over the next six months. I think we'll come out on top, but we've got to relax and enjoy being out on the field again, so that some of that talent can come to the surface."
• Following Saturday's victory, White Sox infielder Carlos Sanchez was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. Sanchez, 22, has played in one game this season, going 2-for-3 in a start at second base on April 8 at Kansas City. Chris Sale will take that spot Sunday and make his 2015 debut.