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White Sox notes: Davidson, Robertson, LaRoche, roster moves

Matt Davidson receives high-fives after hitting a game-winner homer Tuesday. Davidson has four this spring, including two on Tuesday. Photo by Daryl Van Schouwen.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Third baseman Matt Davidson hit two more home runs, hiking his spring total to a team-high four and finishing off an 8-6 White Sox victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers off with an opposite-field walk-off poke against Jamey Wright on Tuesday.

Davidson, once a prized prospect who has maintained his power stroke in two AAA seasons at Charlotte but with high strikeout and low average outputs, is 10-for-22 (.454) with two strikeouts in Cactus League play.

South Side Hit Men

Outfield prospect Jason Coats hit his third homer, adding to the Sox’ team total of 26, which trails only the Tigers in both the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues. The Dodgers also hit three homers against Sox pitchers, including two against left-hander Jose Quintana (Andre Ethier, Enrique Hernandez), who was touched for three runs over four innings before heading to the bullpen to throw 20 more pitches.

“He was sharp,’’ manager Robin Ventura said despite the long balls. “The home run there, you never know here, anything in the air can be a homer, but he looked strong.’’

Quintana allowed three runs on three hits (two homers) and one walk while striking out three. AP
Quintana allowed three runs on three hits (two homers) and one walk while striking out three. AP

Reax to LaRoche’s retirement

There was a feeling in the Sox clubhouse that Adam LaRoche would bounce back from his poor 2015 and be an important cog. Coupled with his respected clubhouse presence, there was disappointment in seeing him tell teammates he is stepping away from the game with a year left on his contract.

“He’s going to do what he’s going to do,’’ closer David Robertson said. “You have to ask him about everything else. I was definitely surprised.’’

Todd Frazier, a new Sox whose locker was next to LaRoche’s, was as stunned as everyone else to learn of the veteran’s choice.

“Guy that caliber who’s been around for a long time,’’ Frazier said, “shoot, we want him to be on this squad. We want him to go with us and he just made his own decision.

“I really don’t know what it was but that’s his choice.’’

Robertson, a better spring so far

Robertson made his first Cactus League outing and aside from feeling bad about plunking Howie Kendrick in the back, felt good about an otherwise clean inning. Last spring, Robertson was slowed by a tender forearm.

“I definitely feel better this year,’’ he said. “I don’t have as many aches and pains. I had what the team called the ‘Show Sniffles’ going on, which I couldn’t kick for the first month-and-a-half of the season. I just physically feel better and think my stuff will be a little better this year.’’

Roster moves

Third baseman Mike Olt, a former Cub who got a look-see from the Sox late last season, was released after going 2-for-11 with no extra-base hits this spring. The Sox also optioned right-hander Daniel Webb, who has struggled, along with right-hander Brandon Brennan to AAA Charlotte. Left-hander Jordan Guerreo, a top-ten Sox organization prospect, was reassigned to minor-league camp. The moves leave 50 players in major league camp, including 23 pitchers.

On deck

White Sox at Brewers, Maryvale, 3:05. Matt Garza starts for the Brewers against left-hander Carlos Rodon, who hasn’t allowed a run in two starts.