Monday, March 26, 2012

LaRoche inching closer to return

US Presswire photo
First baseman Adam LaRoche last appeared in a game on March 15.
VIERA, Fla. -- It didn't look like much -- jogging around a 10-foot circle a couple of times -- but it represented one of the last hurdles standing between Adam LaRoche and a return to the Nationals' lineup.

Testing out his injured left foot in that fashion for the first time in nearly two weeks, LaRoche reported no problems and is expected to be cleared to participate fully in a minor-league game tomorrow.

If that goes well, LaRoche could be back in the Nationals' big-league lineup later this week, giving him enough time to make the Opening Day roster.

Even if it doesn't happen according to that timetable, LaRoche has no doubts he'll be at Wrigley Field on April 5.

"No, not right now," he said. "Because if I still do feel it, it's not something I can't play with. ... When it was at its peak and really hurting, I could still go play. "

LaRoche last played in a Grapefruit League game March 15, but he's since appeared in three minor-league games, getting as many as seven at-bats per day. To this point, he had been restricted to running in a straight line to first base, not cleared to make the turn toward second, but that restriction should be lifted tomorrow.

The veteran first baseman isn't concerned about having so little time to prepare for the season opener because he's been able to face live pitching in minor-league camp. In theory, he'd be comfortable taking the field in Chicago in 10 days without having appeared in another big-league game in Florida.

"I would like to here, defensively, to at least be out on first base and get to work around the bag a little bit and play with the guys I'm going to be playing with," he said. "But worse case, if it doesn't happen, as long as I continue to get at-bats down there, then I'll be ready."

Once the season begins, manager Davey Johnson plans to give LaRoche some occasional time off, particularly against left-handed starters. Mark DeRosa would take over on those days as part of a platoon, a scenario that doesn't exactly sit well with LaRoche.

"No comment," he said when asked about being part of a platoon. "That's how I feel about it."

Johnson explained his thinking in giving LaRoche days off, especially early in the season.

"It's not like I'm saying at this stage you're a platoon player," the manager said. "No, you have these injuries that I'm going to make sure you get some rest. It's a grinding schedule. ... This is all about injury."

9 comments:

erocks33 said...

Yay! A new topic. Unless everyone wants to go into great details regarding the 10-foot circle?

JamesFan said...

It's big boy time. Tape it up, cinch it up, take a couple of aspirin and get out on the field. This guy makes way too much money to be pampered any longer. Play him and see what happens. Either he is a player or he is not.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

So, anyone watching today's game: how did HRod look? Sounds like he's doing well, so far.

natsfan1a said...

noooooooooooooooo 8-O

erocks33 said...

Yay! A new topic. Unless everyone wants to go into great details regarding the 10-foot circle?
March 26, 2012 4:27 PM

Marty said...

"but it represented one of the last hurdles standing between Adam LaRoche and a return to the Nationals' lineup."

Hope you knocked on some wood while you typed that one.

Cwj said...

I'm kind of disappointed in LaRoche's apparent attitude.
It's not like he has contributed anything since joining the Nats. Why would he object to missing a few at bats? As Davey said it's about health, not being a platoon player.

Hopefully I misinterpreted, but the Nats don't need any whiners. This is a classy team, and I'd hate to see LaRoche spoil that.

sjm308 said...

CWj: I did not interpret it as you did. I see this as LaRoche not wanting to be platooned. He wants to play and is not whining. Davey had the last word and it was not even debated. What might even be termed classy is that LaRoche did not take it further and argue with Davey in the media. I also don't think he has enjoyed being "pampered" as it was called in an earlier post. Remember, he played hurt for almost a month before it was just obvious he was not helping himself or the team. I don't see this guy as a primadonna. I actually see him as a fairly tough guy who has had more then his share of injuries the last two years and is frustrated by that.

Does anyone have his injury records before coming here? I knew that Nick has those issues with other teams but I don't think Adam did.

DWS said...

Bugs proved the world was round by throwing a baseball around it and getting it stamped through customs on the way.I have to assume a ten foot circle would be similar. Unless Mr Einstein has come back to life and disproved his theories, Bugs rules.

natsfan1a said...

Bugs wasn't bad on the field, either.

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