Monday, December 5, 2011

Davey: LaRoche "100 percent right now"

US Presswire photo
Adam LaRoche missed most of last season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
DALLAS -- Adam LaRoche has fully recovered from the shoulder tear that sidelined him the majority of the season.

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said today the veteran first baseman is ready to go now and will be able to participate fully when spring training opens in mid-February.

"The word I got is he's 100 percent right now," Johnson said during his media session at the Winter Meetings. "He's feeling great. I'm sure he'll come down early [to spring training] and get after it."

LaRoche appeared in a career-low 43 games this season, batting a career-worst .172 with three homers and 15 RBI, before succumbing to the torn labrum that had hampered him since spring training. Already signed for $8 million in 2012, the 32-year-old will enter camp as the Nationals' starting first baseman and will be counted on to produce at his pre-injury level (he averaged 25 homers, 87 RBI and a .271 batting average from 2005-10).

But Johnson also wants to have a right-handed complement at first base so LaRoche can take some regular days off over the course of the season. The Nationals hoped that player might be Chris Marrero, but the rookie suffered a torn hamstring while playing in the Dominican Republic last month and isn't expected back until the All-Star break, according to Johnson.

"His injury was kind of left us another man short, as far as I'm concerned," the manager said, adding: "The right-handed bench player, utility player, is I think very important. I feel 100 percent sure Adam is going to be fine. But it would be nice to have a guy over there like we did last year."

One possible answer: Mark DeRosa, the veteran utilityman who has played every position in the majors besides center field and catcher. Hampered by a wrist injury, the 36-year-old played in only 73 total games the last two seasons with the Giants, but Johnson is a fan after managing him in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

"Really quality guy," Johnson said. "I really like him. If he's healthy, he fits the role about as good as you can get."


Gonat said...

Jerry Hairston to the Dodgers for 2 years.

Kevin Rusch, Section 406 said...

Have you heard anything about Jerry Hairston? He was a pretty good pickup last year, both as a bench guy, and he was a much more capable fill-in for Zimm than we could have expected.

natsfan1a said...

Evidently (per MLB Trade Rumors) Hairston signed with the Dodgers.

SCNatsFan said...

I know I am in the minority but I like LaRoche and feel if he's healthy he's a huge boost to the infield as well as the offense. I'm also high on Detwiler and think if we sign any of the 3 starters we are aiming for then I can't see him being here; I'd be comfortable with Detwiler/Milone/Peacock as long as we got someone to play CF for us.

sjm308 said...

SCNats: I am totally with you on LaRoche and have been for some time. Its amazing how many "experts" seem to forget his numbers for the 5 or 6 years before his injury. Even while injured, he played the best first base I have seen in some time and if he gets back to 25 hr, 90+rbi and that defense, I don't see why we need to trade him. We also have him for an additional year I believe. Morse can play 1b when there is a tough lefty and I like the idea that Tyler Moore is a step away in Syr.

DL in VA said...

I think this comment I posted probably fits better on this thread.
Here's how I see it: how many players on the Nats staff are on their way to the Hall of Fame? Currently? None. (With the caveat that if Strasburg lives up to his stated potential, then he is likely the one.) I love Zimmerman, but I don't see him as a hall contender. At least not yet. But I know this: Adam LaRoche is not going to the Hall.

Prince Fielder is going to the Hall someday.

And he's going to go wearing the uniform of the team that signs him this winter. THAT TEAM SHOULD BE US, and we all know that the Nats are one of the few teams in the league that could actually do it.

Some team (Milwaukee?) will need LaRoche if we sign Fielder. I say we spend the money. I know I'm pretty likely to buy a season ticket if we do.

PS: in other news, MLB Trade Rumors is now reporting that the NATS were the team that offered C.J. Wilson 6 years.

Sunderland said...

Ask Mark Z a question, and in 38 minutes he posts a thorough response.
How much does it cost to subscribe to this site?

Mark Z - any word from or about LaRoche and where he is at with his rehab?


December 5, 2011 6:41 PM

natsfan1a said...

There was a subscription option back in the day when Mark launched this site, but there hasn't been one since he was hired by CSN.

Will said...

Prince Fielder is nothing more than a very good 1B. That's not Hall of Fame material. The 10 most comparable players to Fielder are:
Eddie Murray, Juan Gonzalez, Jose Canseco, Mark Teixeira, Greg Luzinski, Darryl Strawberry, Kent Hrbek, Boog Powell, Jim Rice and
Orlando Cepeda.

That's 3 HOFs, and 7 players who were basically out of baseball by age 34. I think that's a pretty fair assumption- 30% chance Fielder becomes a HOF type player, and 70% he's out of baseball in 6 years.

It makes little sense to throw $200mil at such odds, especially when you have a players who is nearly as good, but for about 50 times cheaper (Morse).

Feel Wood said...

Prince Fielder is going to the Hall someday.

And he's going to go wearing the uniform of the team that signs him this winter.

He would look kind of funny standing in the ticket line wearing full uniform, wouldn't he? HoF for Fielder is no lock. Look at Of the 10 similar batters to Fielder through age 27, only three are in the HoF. (Eddie Murray, Jim Rice, Orlando Cepeda) And in the top 10 list of similar batters to Fielder, we find one Adam LaRoche, who you have already declared to not be HoF material. And in the similar bodies and gene pool category, Cecil Fielder is not in the HoF. And you think Prince is a lock for the Hall?

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