Sunday, May 22, 2011

LaRoche to get shoulder re-examined

BALTIMORE -- Adam LaRoche will have his ailing left shoulder re-examined in New York after the Nationals first baseman admitted it's been affecting his swing.

LaRoche found out in spring training he has a partially torn labrum in his shoulder, an injury that hampered his ability to throw but didn't hinder his ability to swing.

But as he struggled his way through the worst start to any of his eight big-league seasons, LaRoche began to accept something was wrong. His .172 average ranks second-to-last in the NL, and on Saturday, he snapped an 0-for-26 streak.

What really troubled LaRoche, though, was the fact he's drawing walks at a higher rate than any other time in his career while striking out less often. That told him he wasn't hitting the ball as well as he should, perhaps a result of him not being able to drive with his top (left) hand.

LaRoche, who was out of the lineup Sunday, said he will travel to New York to get a new opinion on the shoulder. He is expected to rejoin the Nationals in Milwaukee on Monday.

"We've just got to get it checked out," manager Jim Riggleman said. "He's not progressing at all. He's getting treatment every day. He's sore. He's saying it doesn't affect his hitting, but he feels like there's a lot of balls that he should be crushing and he's just not doing that. He's been in slumps before, but this has a different feel to it. So we're going to get it checked out further."

Michael Morse started at first base Sunday, going 2-for-4 and making a couple of nice plays in the field. If LaRoche misses any considerable time, the Nationals could also consider promoting prospect Chris Marrero from Class AAA Syracuse. The 22-year-old entered Sunday hitting .271 with three homers and 15 RBI in 40 games, then went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer in the Chiefs' win at Rochester.


Manassas Nats Fan said...

The history of the Nats staff identifying things correctly the first time and doing the right thing from the first moment is not very strong.

Anonymous said...

After today's Chiefs game, Marrero is hitting .283 with 4 homers and 19 RBI.

It's time.

Kevin Rusch, Section406 said...

Yeah, DL him and call up Marerro. He may not be The Answer, but it's an improvement, and LaRoche just isn't helping the team right now, no matter how good he is defensively.

phil dunn said...

Here we go again. Last year it was Marquis, brought in at $7 million per year and ended up being damaged goods. This year, it's Laroche at $10 million a pop. Maybe Mr. Rizzo should do a bit more due diligence. We can probably forget Laroche for the rest of the season. The Nats are a tight fisted team when it comes to money but, when they finally do open the wallet, they spend it in a very wasteful manner. This is a trademark of loser franchises.

Anonymous said...

Knowing Riggleman, the new first baseman will probably be none other than Matt Stairs. Another option might be bringing "da Meathook" out of retirement. Oh, I forgot, Bowden is no longer the GM.

Cwj said...

Phil Dunn- there are plenty of "winner" teams for you to follow, if the Nats aren't quite what you're looking for.

As for me, I'm a Nats fan and quite proud of it.
Where are all the optimistic posters today?

bdrube said...

"Where are all the optimistic posters today?"

Bludgeoned into submission by seven years of utter embarrassment and futility, I would imagine.

Might as well give Marrero a chance. He could hardly be worse.

dj in Fl. said...

Sorry Cwj
I took a nice scooter ride along the river after the game.
But I am back, and I agree with you. I remain very pleased with what we have accomplished so far. We were all hopefull that once Rizzo started the mid season call-ups we might finish near 500. Well here we are just under that mark without those contributing we expected. None of us expected Morse to have this start, LaRoche to not hit, Ankiel to be slow out of the gate. I think Riggleman and McCaty have done wonders. Certainly better than what the emotionally charged arm chair managers and gm,s on here would have done.
Sure I wish we had a historic undefeated season happening, but this is the real world. I enjoy each game, because each is better than a day with out a major league team to call your own

sm13 said...

I'm with you CWJ -- injuries happen to good teams and bad teams and no one is to blame. The Nats did diagnose LaRoche in spring traning and he showed some character and commitment by trying to play through it. Every Nats pitcher and infielder knows how many runs LaRoche has saved the team this year.

At least it looks as if Michael Morse has found his spring hitting stroke again, which could soften the impact if LaRoche does need to go on the shelf.

And, by the way, that was gem thrown today J-Zimm.

Anonymous said...

sm13 I could play through an injury too for $10 million bucks.

sm13 said...

okay, go ahead and hit a 100 mph fastball or scoop a few bad hop throws in the dirt without an injury and then we'll talk....

phil dunn said...

"there are plenty of "winner" teams for you to follow, if the Nats aren't quite what you're looking for."

Cwj---Don't worry about me, I live in Washington so I am conditioned to rooting for hapless teams including the Nats, Wizards and Redskins. Actually, I wouldn't know how to act if there ever was a winning franchise. I am so used to losing, I'd probably have to move.

natsfan1a said...

I didn't see the game, as we went to the airshow today. Among other things, we saw some dogs who are training to be service dogs for wounded vets. Yeah, there are worse things than losing a ballgame.

Anonymous said...

They're going to want Marerro to play everyday if he comes up. Riggleman would more than likely prefer him riding the pine. There is another first baseman with better stats than Marerro and that is Michael Aubrey with .282/.390/.884 with 5 homers. Riggleman would likely prefer this as he continue to platoon players as is his wont. Unlike Marerro Aubrey bats left. He too has power.

Why Aubrey and not Marerro? In a nutshell:
1. Aubrey bats left and is 29 years old. He is not a prospect.
Marerro bats right is still only 22 years old.
2 Marerro is still a developing prospect. They still will want Marerro to
play every day to see where he goes. Aubrey's time for this is now
long passed.
3. Having Aubrey presents a the opportunity for Rig to platoon him
with Michael Morse who bats right. This would not be the case with

Therefore, if such a move were made its probably going to be Aubrey or perhaps Jhonatan Solano (instead of Flores). Solano is a better defensive catcher than Norris and about even with Flores. His bat has come around in Syracuse. Randy Knorr really likes him as an offensive
threat in his lineup. Solano would give Riggleman far more flexibility than Flores as he's not rehabbing after 2 years away from baseball activities. His offense is better than Flores right now. And it would all
Riggleman the flexibility to move Pudge around.

Anonymous said...

DL LaRoche until the doctors can sort it out. Play Morse and bring up a minor leaguer.

But also start asking questions about why the pre-signing and pre-trade physicals are failing to detect such issues. That's not being anti-Nats. That's using common sense.

Anonymous said...

The Nats did diagnose LaRoche in spring traning and he showed some character and commitment by trying to play through it. Every Nats pitcher and infielder knows how many runs LaRoche has saved the team this year.

Agreed. As I have been saying all along. LaRoche is a good ballplayer. Definitely a good signing. The injury occurred in ST not before (as was the case with Marquis). He tried to stick with it to see if his shoulder would come around ... but its been clear for a good while that it was a lot more serious than everyone was trying to make it seem. On that I blame Riggleman. He should know better that is by definition HIS JOB!?

Put LaRoche on the DL, as should have happened a month ago, but don't "dis" him as he gave it his all. He isn't a Matt Stairs who claims to be a professional hitter and likes to walk because he knows he can't do it anymore. LaRoche's signing was **NOT** a bad move. In fact I feel it was better than I originally thought it would be.

- peric

Drew8 said...

LaRoche has played excellent defense, but his wing and his swing aren't right. You could see it the other day when he lobbed the ball from first to third.

I'd like to see Marrerro come up and take a few hacks. Even with the lost time because of the broken leg, he's been down on the farm a long time. I'm also very interested in how he's progressing as a first baseman.

One other thought: Can Ankiel play first base? He's obviously a great athlete.

SonnyG10 said...

I don't blame Rizzo for signing LaRoache. Remember Rizzo tried to sign two other first basemen first... one went to the Cubs and one went to the Orioles. There weren't a whole lot of choices left. I have enjoyed the heck out of watching LaRoache's defense and I am not disappointed in his signing.

I am disappointed in our lack of timely hitting and a bit frustrated with it, but I am not ready to blame anyone. I think Epstein, Riggleman, and Rizzo are very good in their roles and I want to see them remain there.

I also echo what Cwj and "dj in FL." said above.

Steve M. said...

SonnyG10, you have the history wrong on who went where as it relates to the Nats. Pena was a dud and Lee was RH and also an injury risk. LaRoche on paper was the best of the 3 and who could have predicted his shoulder injury.

Stuff happens. Also read the piece on MLBTradeRumors quoting LaRoche and how there was really nothing there in his negotiations with the Orioles which they felt was fluff akin to the supposed Orioles negotiations with Texiera.

Steve M. said...

From MLBTradeRumors:

•Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche said offseason negotiations with the Orioles never got serious enough that his decision to sign with Washington was especially tough, writes Brittany Ghiroli of Not to pile on the O's, but Mark Teixeira echoed a sentiment similar to LaRoche's a couple days back.

DCSportsHomer said...

If Laroche is out for a while it will be interesting to see what happens with a minor league call up such as Marerro or Aubrey.

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