Palka will work out at first base during the offseason, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Palka, who has played both corner outfield spots and designated hitter this season, has played first base in the Diamondbacks and Twins minor-league systems and taken grounders in practice for the White Sox. Manager Rick Renteria is pleased with Palka's power but understands his outfield defense will limit the manager's flexibility. Palka could be the primary DH next season, and by expanding his position versatility, he can work his bat into the lineup at first base or the outfield when Renteria uses the DH spot to spell a position regular.
Palka went 2-for-5 with two RBI in Tuesday's 5-4 win over Cleveland. Palka rescued the White Sox from defeat with a two-run, walkoff single. Palka's an adventure in the field, but his production at the plate -- he leads the team with 27 home runs and his 66 RBI are second only to Jose Abreu -- could land him a gig as the primary designated hitter in 2019.
Palka hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in Friday's win over the Cubs. The blast was his fourth as a pinch hitter this season -- setting a new White Sox record -- and his 27th homer overall, which leads major-league rookies. His defense in the outfield remains an adventure, but Palka's production at the plate puts him on the radar for a gig as the primary designated hitter next season.
Palka is out of the lineup for Friday's game against the Cubs. Palka and his .191/.276/.294 slash line against lefties will take a seat for the series opener against Jose Quintana and the Cubs. Another left-hander in Jon Lester will take the mound Saturday, leaving Palka in an undesirable position, even if he does start. Kevan Smith will bat sixth as the designated hitter Friday.
Palka went 1-for-4 with a walk and a solo home run in Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Indians. Palka, who was removed from his previous game with oblique soreness, slotted in at third in the order, taking the spot of Jose Abreu, who is sidelined by an infection in his thigh. Whatever pain Palka had been feeling did not impact his power stroke as he launched his third homer in the last two games. With Abreu set to miss at least the next two games, there will be an opportunity for Palka to add to his AL-rookie-leading 25 homers.