Sunday, May 22, 2011
LaRoche to get shoulder re-examined
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.
Posted by Mark Zuckerman at 5:15 PM