LaRoche’s back quickly improves
GLENDALE, Ariz.— Designated hitter Adam LaRoche, who left the White Sox’ game Saturday against the Royals with a back spasm, received more treatment Sunday but didn’t need an MRI exam, the team said.
LaRoche, 36, who is looking to bounce back from a disappointing first season with the Sox in which he batted .207 with 12 homers and 44 RBI, made significant improvement and has no nerve damage. He’s day- to- day.
The Sox are counting on LaRoche to rebound from last season, his first as a DH, and provide a lefthanded presence in the middle of the lineup. He’s in the second year of a two- year, $ 25 million deal.
LaRoche homered inside the right- field foul pole in his first game against Indians left- hander Ross Detwiler on Friday. After the game, manager Robin Ventura talked up LaRoche’s swing and fitness.
Ventura called the medical reports encouraging.
“He says he feels better today,” Ventura said. “But who knows how long this is going to be? It has to do with the back, so we don’t expect him to be in there tomorrow, either. Hopefully the day after we can get something out of him. But right now we’re just going to see how he feels.”
‘ Emotional’ times for Alexei
Padres shortstop Alexei Ramirez had spent his entire career with the White Sox, who didn’t pick up his $ 10 million option this offseason. Ramirez said he asked to play in the game against the Sox on Sunday in Glendale, where he received a nice round of applause.
“Every time I came up to the plate I could hear them,” Ramirez said through a translator. “It was emotional. I have to say thanks to the Chicago White Sox for that.
Ramirez, who received a $ 4 million guarantee from the Padres, said he didn’t have other offers. He had hoped to finish his career with the Sox.
“It hurt because I spent so much time in Chicago and formed somewhat of a family,” Ramirez said. “At the same time, that’s baseball.”
It was somewhat ironic that Ramirez, in his first at- bat, was retired on a ground ball by 37- yearold Jimmy Rollins, whowas signed to a $ 2 million deal to assume at least a share of the shortstop duties. Rollins ranged behind second and made a nice play.
Ramirez batted third and singled and walked in three plate appearances.
Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier hit their first homers, back- toback, giving the Sox seven homers in four games.
“We want to see that more often,” said Frazier, who followed Abreu with an even deeper blast. “If we can mimic each other, it’s going to be a heck of a year.”
Designated hitter Adam LaRoche’s back injury didn’t require an MRI exam, and he didn’t suffer nerve damage.