LaRoche headed to disabled list
The Nationals have put first baseman Adam LaRoche on the 15-day disabled list because of a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
LaRoche was in New York getting a second opinion on the shoulder and will not rejoin the team in Milwaukee.
During Spring Training, LaRoche was diagnosed with a torn labrum, and he’s beginning to feel that the shoulder is hurting his swing. In 43 games, LaRoche is hitting .172 with three home runs and 15 RBIs.
While the shoulder doesn’t hurt when he swings the bat, LaRoche feels it is weak, and the reason he cannot generate much power. The only time his shoulder hurts is when he throws the baseball. LaRoche has been told that he could play the entire season with the injury.
While he is having a subpar year at the plate, LaRoche is clearly the best defensive first baseman the Nationals have ever had. His great range and scoops on throws are two reasons the club ranks eighth in the National League in fielding percentage.
With LaRoche on the DL, the Nationals plan to use Michael Morse at first base and activate outfielder Rick Ankiel, who is currently on a rehab assignment with Double A Harrisburg.
Morse will get another chance to show that he can play every day. He started the season as the Opening Day left fielder, but found himself on the bench after getting off to a slow start offensively and defensively. By late April, Morse was benched in favor of Laynce Nix.
Ankiel, who hurt his wrist trying to catch a fly ball against the Phillies in early May, is hitting .221 with one home run and seven RBIs, but has been outstanding on defense.
Once he is ready to play in the big leagues, it’s not known what Ankiel’s role will be. He could be on the bench because Nix is swinging a hot bat Roger Bernadina is the only legitimate leadoff hitter in the entire organization.