Alejandro De Aza making plenty of noise with two home runs
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter March 31, 2014 11:13PM
Chicago White Sox's Alejandro De Aza (30) celebrates his home run in the dugout with teammates, during the sixth inning of an Opening Day baseball game Monday, March 31, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Updated: May 2, 2014 6:34AM
For much of the offseason, White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza didn’t know if he still had a future with the team.
The acquisition of Adam Eaton — a young center fielder with leadoff skills — Dec. 10 made De Aza seem like the odd man out in an outfield that included budding star Avisail Garcia and Dayan Viciedo.
But De Aza was in the starting lineup Monday and turned out to be the hitting star in the Sox’ 5-3 victory with his first career multihomer game, both off Twins starter Ricky Nolasco.
The last Sox player to have two homers in an opener was slugger Jim Thome in 2008 in Cleveland.
The last Sox player to have two homers in a home opener was all-time great Minnie Minoso in 1960 against the Kansas City Athletics.
‘‘I’m pretty happy about it,’’ a grinning De Aza said afterward.
And he insisted that he was just as happy that it happened while he batted seventh as the left fielder.
‘‘I just take it day-by-day,’’ he said. ‘‘Whenever they put me in to play, I have to do my best to do my job.’’
The outfield platoon situation is one of several manager Robin Ventura juggles for now, along with the designated-hitter tandem of Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn.
‘‘That’s what we have,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘It’s part of the roster we have, and you have to be able to adjust.
‘‘[Viciedo and De Aza] want to play. Both are good enough to play. But that’s where we’re at roster-wise.’’
Viciedo is 25 and still has ‘‘power hitter’’ stamped on his future after two full seasons with the team.
De Aza turns 30 on April 11 and has versatility on his side, along with a left-handed bat and a solid spring in which he hit .383 with two home runs in 15 games.
‘‘I feel OK about it,’’ Viciedo said. ‘‘The most important thing is we’re supporting the team to win.
‘‘I’m happy today because we started on the right track with Alejandro in a victory. I’m sure that when we’re out there, we’ll do our best to support the team.’’