Results tagged ‘ Adam LaRoche ’
By Tom Schad | Associate Reporter
With the myriad injuries that they’ve had this season, the Nationals have frequently had to ship players to and from the Minor Leagues. The team’s decision to option Tyler Moore to Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday night, however, had nothing to do with health.
The 26-year-old first baseman and outfielder is one of the few guys in Washington who hasn’t had injury problems this year. But his problems at the plate, where the Nationals counted on him to be a key contributor off the bench, have been just as concerning.
Moore batted .158 (15-for-94) in 37 games with the Nationals, including just five doubles and two home runs. He was sent down in favor of first baseman Chris Marrero, another slugger who has simply had a better season so far.
“I’m not up here for my defense. I’m up here for my hitting, and I’m not doing it. There’s no excuses,” Moore said on Sunday night. “Stuff wasn’t falling like it usually does. I was striking out too much. I just had to make some adjustments, and I didn’t make them quick enough.”
Manager Davey Johnson said that his plan is to have Moore get regular at-bats at Syracuse and regain his confidence. And nobody understands Johnson’s thinking better than veteran first baseman Adam LaRoche, who has served as a mentor for the 26-year-old as he tries to find his footing.
“That’s the hardest thing, being a younger guy, getting sent down for the first time, it’s hard to see a positive in that,” LaRoche said. “We’ve all known it since he’s been up here that he’s an everyday player for a lot of people. He’s proved that in the minor leagues, what he can do with 500 or 600 at-bats, and he’s in a bad spot here. He just doesn’t get a lot of at-bats. You can’t expect a guy with not a lot of big-league time to be productive off the bench. It’s just too hard.”
“I hate it for him because I love having him in this clubhouse and I love having his bat and the fact that he can play outfield, play first base,” LaRoche continued. “Selfishly, it’d be nice to have him up here but there’s no doubt it’s the best thing for him.”
Mike Fiammetta here, helping out Bill Ladson on the blog. The Nationals go for the series win against the Cardinals today at Nationals Park, where it’ll be Stephen Strasburg vs. Jake Westbrook. As always, follow along on Nationals.com throughout the game.
It was an awfully quite Nationals clubhouse this morning, understandable considering last night’s grueling 10-9 loss to the Cardinals. Unprovoked, Davey Johnson began his post-game meeting to the media with, “Well that had to be the longest nine-inning game I’ve ever been involved in.”
That sure wasn’t an understatement, as the three-hour, 29-minute game saw 24 hits between the two teams and a combined 11 pitchers used. Even a four-run first inning wasn’t enough for the Nats, who relinquished their lead after a four-run Cardinals fourth inning and again after St. Louis scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth.
Today, Strasburg looks to clinch the series for the Nats while making what should be one of this last two or three starts of the season. That was the number Johnson gave earlier in the week, and as inexact as it seems, the Nats have remained consistent with their approach to Strasburg. Johnson has said there is a plan in place, even if it hasn’t been disclosed to the media.
The good news for the Nats is that after exiting last night’s game in the ninth inning with hamstring cramps, Jayson Werth is back atop Washington’s lineup today. Adam LaRoche does get what appears to be a day off, though.
An update on Bryce Harper is coming in the notebook, and until then, here are the rest of today’s lineups.
- Jon Jay CF
- Carlos Beltran RF
- Matt Holliday LF
- Allen Craig 1B
- David Freese 3B
- Bryan Anderson C
- Pete Kozma SS
- Daniel Descalso 2B
- Jake Westbrook RHP
- Jayson Werth RF
- Bryce Harper CF
- Ryan Zimmerman 3B
- Michael Morse LF
- Chad Tracy 1B
- Ian Desmond SS
- Danny Espinosa 2B
- Kurt Suzuki C
- Stephen Strasburg RHP
Are you finally on the Roger Bernadina bandwagon? He is having his best year offensively and we all saw his awesome catch against the Astros. Do you see him settling in as the Nats’ fourth outfielder during the foreseeable future or do you think he’ll be swimming in different waters next season?
– Tyler and Terry, Washington DC
I’ve always been on the Bernadina bandwagon. I’m simply not fond of the nickname, “The Shark,” because he doesn’t put up Albert Pujols numbers. I prefer the name, “Speed Racer,” because of the way he runs the bases.
There is no question that Bernadina is having a great year. I love the way he outplayed Rick Ankiel, who was released last month. Bernadina is having great at-bats — it helps that he shortened his swing — and playing great defense. He could be a fourth outfielder for years to come. I don’t see him playing every day for the Nationals. He could be trade bait during the offseason.
The Nats bullpen has been great this year. But they have been used a lot. Manager Davey Johnson seems reluctant to have his starters pitch the last three innings of a game — even if the pitch count is low. If this is going to be a postseason team, won’t they need a fresh bullpen? Is this just part of Davey’s managing personality?
– Chris, Marlborough, CT
I spoke to Johnson recently and he doesn’t want to over use his pitchers before the postseason begins. During the month of September, I expect the Nationals to call up extra relievers such as Christian Garcia, so I expect the Nationals’ bullpen to be rested by the postseason.
When Ian Desmond returns, I would assume that Jayson Werth will lead off and Ian Desmond will hit sixth. Is this what you think also?
– Jamie, New Brunswick, Canada
It’s hard to say. If both players can stay healthy, I could see both players leading off from time to time. I can also see Danny Espinosa leading off once in a while. During the offseason, it would not surprise me if the Nationals were looking for a leadoff hitter.
With the development of Bryce Harper, I do not see the urgency to acquire a center fielder for next season. They are overloaded in the outfield already. Do you agree?
– Rich R., Washington DC.
I disagree. They have almost nothing but corner outfielders. I think Harper is a better as a right or left fielder. While Bernadina is having a great year defensively in center field, the Nationals consider him a corner outfielder. They center fielder could come from the Minor League system [Eury Perez] or free agency [Michael Bourn].
With Adam LaRoche having a mutual option for next season, do you think he will decline his option due to such a great season? I was thinking that if LaRoche picks up the option as well as the Nats, the team could decide to deal either LaRoche or Michael Morse, get good value in return and then go after a center fielder in a trade.
– Alex H., London, England
It’s too early to answer the question about LaRoche and the mutual option. I think both sides will deal with the option after the season. I don’t think Morse will be traded because he has one more year left on his contract and could be put at first base for next year.
There is possibility they could wait for Perez and Brian Goodwin, but I’m expecting the Nationals to trade for a center fielder or sign one during the free agency period.
Although John Lannan has struggled this season at Triple A Syracuse, with his success with the Major League team, do you see a long-term future with him in the rotation again?
– Ben S. Concord. N.C.
The answer is no. It would not surprise me if he was non-tendered after the season. Provided that everybody is healthy or re-signed for next year, I see the rotation like this: Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler.
– Bill Ladson
First baseman Adam LaRoche had a game to remember on Saturday afternoon. He went 4-for-5 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored in a 7-4 victory over the Cubs.
It came two days after LaRoche went hitless in three at-bats – three strikeouts – and left five runners on base in a 2-1 victory. After that game, LaRoche saw his son, Drake, who became his dad’s harshest critic.
“My son comes up to me and asked, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘You are exactly right. I have no idea.’ So it was nice to come out and just see the ball better today — better pitch selection. I wasn’t chasing the pitches that I was [two days ago]. Another great win. Man, another great win.”
The game on Saturday also showed that LaRoche has recovered from his left shoulder injury, which forced him to miss most of last season. The home run he hit against Cubs right-hander Matt Garza was his first since April 24 of last year.
“[Last year], I had a lot of pitches — even when I was feeling good last year – that should have killed. I would foul them back out to left or not being able to get the bat head to it. I feel a lot better.”
First baseman Adam LaRoche was one person who was happy the Nationals defeated the Cubs, 2-1, at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon.
LaRoche went 0–for-3 with three strikeouts and left five runners on base. The Nationals had Cubs right-hander Ryan Demspter on the ropes at different points in the game but couldn’t take advantage of the situation. In the first inning, the Nationals had runners on second and third with one out, but LaRoche struck out and Jayson Werth flied out to right field to end the threat.
Two innings later, the Nationals had the bases loaded with one out against Dempster, but LaRoche struck out and Werth flied out to right field to end the threat.
“That was a frustrating start individually. I don’t know if it was so long that I was too amped up or what,” said LaRoche, who missed most of Spring Training because of a foot injury.
In the eighth inning against Kerry Wood, however, LaRoche drew a walk to load the bases. Werth followed and walked to force home a run and tie the score at 1.
“It was nice,” LaRoche said. “You making them start getting the ball over the plate, which I wasn’t doing early on. It tightens everything up. That’s when you can set it up to get some pitches to drive. Again, it wasn’t done with hits, by we pushed a run across right there.”
Nationals outfielder Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche are not expected to play in a Major League exhibition game for at least a week.
Morse, who has played just three game during the exhibition season, has a strained right lat [back] muscle. While he can swing a bat, he is not allowed to throw the baseball. Morse believes he will be ready for Opening Day.
As for LaRoche, he had an MRI recently and it revealed he has a bone bruise and cartilage sprain in his left foot. LaRoche is having problems running the bases. He, too, believes he will be ready for Opening Day.
“I really feel this is going to be put behind [me] shortly,” LaRoche said. “I’m going to give it a few days, go back to Minor League side, get a bunch of at-bats, where I don’t have to run the bases. As long as I’m seeing some pitches — I don’t care if it’s coming out of an 18-year old’s hand — I don’t want to fall a week behind as far as seeing live pitching.”
Outfielder Rick Ankiel had a full workout in front of manager Davey Johnson on Saturday and is expected to return to action Tuesday against the Mets. Ankiel has not played since March 9 because of a tight left hamstring.
Nationals outfielders Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel and first baseman Adam LaRoche are not allowed to play in Major League exhibition games because of injuries, but they can still get at-bats on the Minor League field, according to manager Davey Johnson.
LaRoche continues to have a left foot problem and feels pain when he runs the bases. LaRoche hurt the foot while doing a baserunning drill last month.
Morse recently had an MRI and it revealed that he still has a strained right lat [back] muscle. Morse, who has played three exhibition games, can still swing a bat, but he can’t throw the baseball.
Ankiel continues to have left hamstring issues and has not played since March 9 against the Marlins.
Like with outfielder Bryce Harper earlier this week, Ankiel, Morse and Ankiel must work out in front of Johnson in order to play in an exhibition game.
“For this time of year, I’m cautious,” Johnson said. “My conversation with the trainer today was, ‘Ankiel, Morse and LaRoche: Treatment here [Space Coast Stadium], they can hit over there [Minor League Field] under your supervision.’ I’m going to be on the cautious side. We got a ways to go. Those guys don’t have to prove anything to me. My main concern is getting them ready. It depends on how quickly they recover.”
Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche was tested in the first inning of an 8-4 victory over the Cardinals on Monday afternoon.
With runners on first and third and one out, Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams hit a routine groundball to LaRoche, who softly threw the ball to catcher Jesus Flores. Yadier Molina was tagged out at the plate.
According to LaRoche, he didn’t have any problems with his left shoulder which was surgically repaired last year. LaRoche ended up going 0-for-2 with a walk in the game.
“I have a little more in the tank than that,” LaRoche said about the throw. “… If I need to rush something or throw across to third, I have a little more than that. The way it’s progressing, I think two weeks from now, it will be even better. I’m fine with that. That’s the way it is. But I think it will continue to get better. So far, no setbacks from the shoulder.”
LaRoche is still feeling some soreness in his left foot, but he said it’s better than it was a week ago.
“We have it wrapped up pretty tight,” LaRoche said. “I’m really hoping I don’t have to do this [wrapping the foot] forever. … But it’s good enough to play right now. … It’s not great turning, it’s not great running the bases yet, but a lot better than it was a week ago.”
After Sunday’s 7-4 loss to the Orioles, Nationals 1B Adam LaRoche was spotted in the locker room, three days after he had surgery to repair labrum and rotator cuff tears in his left shoulder.
The doctors told LaRoche that he should be ready to perform baseball activities in six months.
“Talking to [Dr.] Wiemi [Douoguih], he is real comfortable the way the surgery turned out and what he saw. Now I just wait and stick with their program,” LaRoche said. “It’s sore now. It’s the first surgery I’ve ever had. I thought it would be a lot worse. It’s a good start so far.”
During Spring Training, LaRoche was diagnosed with a torn labrum, and he began to feel in mid-May that the shoulder was hurting his swing. In 43 games, LaRoche was hitting .172 with three home runs and 15 RBIs.
While the shoulder didn’t hurt when he swung the bat, LaRoche felt it was weak, and the reason he could not generate much power.
“It took longer to realize that my shoulder had something to do with the lack of power,” LaRoche said.
The only time his shoulder was in pain was when he threw the baseball. LaRoche was originally told that he could play the entire season with the injury.
However, by May 22nd, LaRoche wanted to get a second opinion on the shoulder and went to New York the next day. The doctors ended up finding a tear in his rotator cuff as well.
“If anything else, I should have [received a second opinion] a few weeks before,” LaRoche said. “It’s good to get it over with. Now the struggle is going to be watching a bunch of games and not be able to play in them.”
Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche is in the DC area rehabbing his left shoulder. He is hoping that he can avoid surgery, but that may be hard to do.
Not only does he have a large tear in his labrum, LaRoche also has a small tear in his rotator cuff.
“That’s not what I wanted to hear,” LaRoche said via phone. “I wish it didn’t take me 43 games to figure out something was totally wrong.”
LaRoche said there is a deadline on when he will decide to quit rehabbing the shoulder and have surgery. He did not know the deadline date. LaRoche indicated that he did not want to miss the 2012 season because of the injury.
“I love playing and I want to be out there with the guys, but I’m not selfish enough to stick it out the whole year and potentially miss next year,” LaRoche said. “We are going to give [the rehab] a shot.
“Hopefully a miracle happens so we can get it playable. If not, I’m not going to milk it here and hope for the best. If this doesn’t work, I’m pretty sure I’ll make the decision to get it fixed.”
Right now, the game plan for LaRoche is to rehab the shoulder for two to three weeks without throwing a baseball or swinging a bat.
“[We are going to] really work on strengthening the rotator cuff and the smaller muscles in my shoulder in hopes that I can come back and have it right.”
During Spring Training, LaRoche was diagnosed with a torn labrum, and he’s began to feel this past week that the shoulder was hurting his swing. In 43 games, LaRoche was hitting .172 with three home runs and 15 RBIs.
While the shoulder didn’t hurt when he swung the bat, LaRoche felt it was weak, and the reason he could not generate much power.
The only time his shoulder was in pain was when he threw the baseball. LaRoche was told that he could play the entire season with the injury.
However, by last weekend, LaRoche wanted to get a second opinion on the shoulder and went to New York on Sunday night.
“I know my body well enough to know when I’m feeling good at the plate … and it was not there,” LaRoche said. “That’s the reason I went to New York. I wanted somebody to tell me, ‘Listen, your shoulder is fine. It should not be affecting your swing. Get back out there and play.’ Or ‘There are some Major issues.’ That’s all I wanted to confirm.”
It was confirmed that LaRoche has major issues in the shoulder.