Whether Chicago White Sox fans want to admit it or not, Paul Konerko’s days wearing the black and white are numbered.
Konerko has given the South Siders a reliable first baseman for the past 14 years. Playing at least 137 games every year since coming to Chicago, Konerko has been tremendously consistent for the Sox. And while we would all love for “Pauly” to be the White Sox everyday first baseman forever, all good things have to come to an end.
With Konerko on the back nine of his career, it’s time for the White Sox to start looking for future options at first base. Searching for someone to fill Konerko’s shoes will be a lot easier said than done. Averaging 32 HRs and 101 RBIs per season in his MLB career, Konerko has been one of the most productive hitters in White Sox history. Realistically, whoever replaces the current Sox captain will have trouble duplicating his success.
That being said, the White Sox heir apparent to Konerko may already be with the team this spring.
Seth Loman, a non-roster invitee, is tearing it up with the White Sox during the first week of Cactus league play. The 27-year old first baseman has two HRs and six RBIs in just 11 at-bats this spring. Even more impressive of Loman is his .364/.417/1.000 triple-slash line through the first six games of spring ball.
Although this is a very small sample of the big 6-foot-4, 245-pound infielder, Loman has impressed me most of all the Sox non-roster invitees. I also believe he’s opened the eyes of the White Sox coaching staff and front office.
At this point in time, proclaiming Loman, who has never played an inning in the big leagues, as Konerko’s future replacement is definitely a stretch.
Loman will most likely once again play of all of 2013 in the minors. However, if he can continue to succeed this spring and progresses down on the farm, he is a very interesting option for the Sox once Konerko is gone.
Matt Malecha is a Chicago White Sox writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattMalecha.