Signed: LaRoche Checks Into White Sox Hotel

LaRoche

Adam LaRoche is bringing some power to the Windy City.

 

While the Boston Red Sox have been making a lot of noise on the Monday before Thanksgiving, the Chicago White Sox quietly made a good addition of their own this past Friday. With the departures of Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn to retirement (Dunn to Oakland in between), the White Sox needed some depth at first base. (Jose Abreu likely to be the main DH). And while he’s not youngster in a baseball sense, Adam LaRoche was an economical two year, $25MM pick up for Chicago.

The 35-year old, whose American League experience is limited to nine game stint with the Red Sox in 2009, has become one of the most consistent power hitters in the game. LaRoche has hit 20 or more home runs 10 times, including two seasons in which he has topped the 30 HR mark. His career high is 33 long balls, which he hit for Washington in 2012. That season he also drove in 100 runs, won his lone Gold Glove Award and made his only All-star appearance, and finished 6th in the NL MVP voting.

The son of former Major League pitcher Dave LaRoche (he of the eephus pitch, the “LaLob”), LaRoche has a career .811 OPS over 11 seasons with Atlanta (twice), Pittsburgh, Boston, Arizona, and Washington. The Braves drafted him out of Fort Scott Community College (KS) in the 29th round of the 2000 amateur draft.

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12 comments

  1. Why would the White Sox need a first baseman, when they have Rookie of the Year, Jose Abreu, who also placed fourth in the MVP balloting

  2. Through the wonder of the internet, one could accurately research their stories, so as to see if the White Sox will start their 28 year old MVP candidate who is in his absolute PRIME at 1st, or their aging, 35 year old LH platoon player they just signed.

    One could increase their accuracy to bother to improve their knowledge of the subject before posting. Or do more research beyond watching the clowns at ESPN. Just a thought.

    1. One could also not be snotty in making comments and hide behind a fake name. The White Sox would not sign a 35-year old first baseman to a good sized contract to DH or sit on the bench.

  3. It is wholly laughable that ANY team would relegate their best player to DH duty in favor of a 35 year old who sucks out loud at hitting vs LHP. It is so nonsensical that you should be ashamed of making such a silly suggestion.

    At the same time, that 28 year old is far likelier to be better at defense than the aging 35 year old in 2015. [And don’t bother to mention gold gloves in a day and age when Jeter won several as an aging statue in recent years.] Meanwhile, the aging 35 year old is far likelier to be productive over a 162 game season if used as the primary DH vs. RHP, and the spot starter @ 1st when the MVP candidate needs a day off.

    By every logical metric, it is clear that the WSox intend to use their 28 year old, in-his-prime MVP candidate as the primary 1B, and use the aging, only-good-vs-RHP signee as the primary DH. Even a stupid manager like Robin Ventura can see that this is the only logical way to make up the lineup, save for the odd injury or slump by a player.

    Seriously, do your research before you sit down in front of a keyboard. It will make your writings bear more weight, and add credibility to what you post.

    1. Everything is always researched and vetted. That doesn’t mean there isn’t incorrect information being acquired. Age is only a small part of a player’s defensive ability. LaRoche is 35 not 75. There are players that couldn’t play D at 23 or 33.

  4. And Laroche sucks out loud at hitting vs LHP. He is the DEFINITION of a platoon player.

    Meanwhile, Abreu is an MVP candidate. You know, the type of player that plays almost everyday?

    1. No one said Abreu won’t play every day. Of course he will. He’s the best hitter on the team. Doesn’t mean he won’t get a number of days at DH. LaRoche is the better defender and will play a lot. Of the 144 games that Abreu started last year, 106 were started by right-handed pitchers. Abreu had a .919 OPS and homered every 16.1 ABs (420) against right-handers. Last year LaRoche wasn’t far behind those numbers vs. righties – an .891 OPS and homered in every 17 ABs (357).

  5. Look, you’re just wrong about this, by every measurable means:

    1. Range Factor suggests that Abreu was the better defender in 2014. Moreover, one can count on some age-related regression out of Laroche defensively, while one can expect more improvement from Abreu as he becomes more comfortable in a new league and a new country.

    2. There will be 10 away interleague games for Chicago. Barring injury, Laroche will sit each and every one of these games, and Abreu will be the starting 1B. [Unless the manager is so stupid that he can’t read a scouting report.]

    3. Approximately ~25% of IP will be by LHP in 2015, for which Laroche is utterly and completely useless. Even a stupid manager like Ventura would be wise to avoid using Laroche against LHP if he can avoid it. [In other words, another ~38 games where a LHP will be opposing the WSox, and Laroche should be sitting.]

    4. Between interleague games and opposing LHP, Laroche will be on the bench for ~48 out of 162 games, if Ventura isn’t a complete mouth-breather. That Laroche is unusable for ~30% of your schedule should be clear in terms of who is the primary 1B and who is the DH in this equation.

    5. Abreu is better v. both LHP and RHP than Laroche, and in his prime; Laroche is aging, and will need much more rest than Abreu to get through the grind of an MLB season.

    We could keep going, but the point is clear. NO ONE benches/DHs their 28 year old, in his PRIME MVP candidate for a 35 year old platoon player that can’t hit his way out of a paper bag v. LHP. Don’t defend a point on which you are outright WRONG. Do your research beforehand, so that you maintain a high standard and credibility with your readership.

    1. Again, no one said Abreu will be benched. If healthy, he’ll play 155-160 games. But a number of those games will be at DH. There’s no point in signing LaRoche for that amount of money and for two years. They could have gone a much cheaper, younger route if they didn’t want him to get a good number of at-bats. And there is no point in DH’ing him.

      You could bringing up left-handers, but the majority of starting pitchers are right-handed. Somewhere in here you have gotten the notion that the article says Abreu will sit in favor of LaRoche. It was never stated and it never will be. This isn’t a discussion of Abreu vs. LaRoche. Merely talking about what LaRoche will bring to the team. <—period.

  6. For the record:

    In Laroche’s walk year of 2014 vs. LHP: .204/.284/.336/.602.
    vs RHP: .280/.390/.501/.891

    This is BEFORE another year and a guaranteed $25M will slow Laroche’s 35 year old bat even further.

    In Abreu’s rookie year of 2014 vs. LHP: .353/.437/.662/1.098
    vs. RHP: .305/.364/.555/.919

    This is BEFORE another year of growth, maturity, and development that will make Abreu an even more indispensible everyday starter.

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