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LaRoche will play with slight shoulder tear

Mar 27, 2011, 10:34 PM EST

VIERA, Fla. — Adam LaRoche will return to the Nationals’ lineup Monday and start at first base on Opening Day despite a slight tear in his left shoulder.

Results of an MRI taken on LaRoche’s shoulder Wednesday revealed a slight tear of the labrum, a club source confirmed, but the injury is not serious enough to force him to the disabled list.

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  1. Rabbit - Mar 27, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    Never trust the news about an injury. He will play UNTIL it becomes serious enough for the DL, then we'll be without him for a month or so. Sorry, I'm just a sceptic when it comes to anything a sports person (Mark excluded) or a politician says. Nats are looking well though.

  2. Anonymous8 - Mar 27, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    One day it is fraying and the next day it is a slight tear. Unreal.

  3. Mark Zuckerman - Mar 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    Anon8: Fraying is the same thing as a slight tear. Not trying to downplay the injury, but it's really not surprising nor has the situation really changed in the last few days.

  4. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    But if they put LaRoche on the DL to begin the season it could help solve the problem of keeping Gonzalez, Stairs, Bernadina, and Nix. They would likely have Morse and Stairs share first base with late inning double switches. Assuming they keep Marerro in Syracuse. More lead time to make roster moves of one form or another.

  5. Mark'd - Mar 27, 2011 at 10:56 PM

    If Mark says they are the same then fine but I hear what Rabbit says and fear that could be what we hear next. I suffered a slight tear and was fine too with rest but I'm not an elite athlete.

  6. masnstinks - Mar 27, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    When do they have to finalize the 25-man? Is there a deadline or is it just opening day? Seems like they would have to make decisions before the charter flight on Tuesday night? Waiting, waiting, waiting …… really want to know.

  7. mjr - Mar 27, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    I'm not a doctor nor a sports trainer but I don't like the sound of this. I know it's a matter of pride for guys to "play through" stuff like this but this seems like a recipe for a more serious injury.

  8. Anonymous8 - Mar 27, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    If the Nats keep Nix, Stairs and Cora over Bernadina and Gonzalez, they will regret it as the goal of a more athletic team with an emphasis on defense goes out the window.I will wait to see the final 25 man, but reading some of the comments and interviews has me worried that this will go to a very one dimensional bench that gives you little depth outside of adept pinch hitters.

  9. Ernie - Mar 27, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    Some context might be helpful here. How often do these kinds of injuries occur in fielders? Is this the sort of thing most player just "play through"? Is it likely to heal itself with time? Will surgery eventually be required and we're just counting down the days until it is aggravated enough to operate?

  10. Anonymous - Mar 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    If the Nats keep Nix, Stairs and Cora over Bernadina and Gonzalez, they will regret it as the goal of a more athletic team with an emphasis on defense goes out the window.Watch out anon8, thinking this way and expressing it could get you into trouble … we anonymii apparently have a worst reputation than Sun Myung Moon!

  11. Anonymous8 - Mar 28, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    Anon @7:44, LOL. If you agree with me then we are cool. The stated strategy when Rizzo discussed points of emphasis made sense when it was reasoned for turning in a different direction from Adam Dunn. Now are they saying just the starters need to have the athleticism and being defensive minded but not the bench?I can buy off on Nix -or- Stairs, not both because they become DPH which is a designated pinch hitter and don't play good defense, but you have to retain Bernadina. I keep Gonzalez because he is an above average defender, inexpensive, and under team control and balances the bench as a RH batter.

  12. Anonymous - Mar 28, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    I can buy off on Nix -or- Stairs, not both because they become DPH which is a designated pinch hitter and don't play good defense, but you have to retain Bernadina. I keep Gonzalez because he is an above average defender, inexpensive, and under team control and balances the bench as a RH batter.I can buy off on Nix because in addition to everything else he looks like a potential sleeper. That isn't the case with Cora, Hairston and Stairs who's apparent big asset for making the 25 is the fact they are veterans with more experience along with the right character. If you are looking for athleticism, speed and flexibility you look no further than Bernadina and Gonzalez followed by Nix and Bixler. Hairston looks lost in CF, fair in RF or LF. He looks great at third base, less than average at shortstop and second. Neither Hairston or Cora are going to be that fast, both are nigh onto coaching careers. Stairs should be a hitting coach today or a DH in the AL if he can find a team interested in him for that position. In other words they do not match the model Rizzo described. And keeping Stairs brings back the question so many fans asked this offseason … why not keep Adam Dunn then?

  13. Peyton Dowdy - Mar 28, 2011 at 12:46 AM

    Boy you guys need to look up some things on Laynce Nix. He isn't a defensive liability. His CAREER UZR for all 3 outfield positions combined is 20.8. Now that isn't fantastic when you consider it is over parts of 8 season, but still it is a positive number and he is MORE than capable of playing in the field. He shouldn't be looked at as anything like Stairs.Also the statements about Hairston are hard to figure out. How can you say he looks fair in RF or LF when he really hasn't played those this spring. He is an average defender at pretty much all positions and it just seems like people are throwing out opinions without backing them up at all.Also the last statement about if you keep Stairs, you might as well have kept Dunn is also comparing apples to oranges. Dunn played over 1200 innings in the field last year which makes him a defensive liability. Stairs isn't penciled in to play in the field hardly at all if he makes the team. I just don't get how you can say he is a designated pinch hitter and then make that last statement.

  14. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 28, 2011 at 1:56 AM

    "we anonymii apparently have a worst reputation than Sun Myung Moon!"You'd be more anonymous if you didn't keep making the same gramnatical mistakes.

  15. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 28, 2011 at 1:58 AM

    Yes, I know. But I'm not anonymous, so it doesn't count.

  16. sjm308 - Mar 28, 2011 at 2:41 AM

    Pretty good arguments all the way around. I am pretty sure that A. Gonzalez played with this same injury until late Sept last year with the Padres. It has to be iffy knowing LaRoche could injure it more at any time but it is what it is.On the other positions, it really is a tough call this year. Looks like Hairston is becoming the new whipping boy and I am not sure why. He might not be great at any one position but he sure can play a bunch of them. I still think Bernadina is better at the corner outfield spots and if we have to move Morse to 1st he will be just fine in LF. I like Nix over Stairs and I am wondering if Stairs was released if he would accept a role at Syracuse? In the infield I just don't have a gut feeling between Cora and Gonzalez but AG is younger, we have control of him and he is the better fielder so I guess I lean toward him.Want to take this time to thank Sec 3 for the new word in my vocabulary (multiple anons)

  17. Anonymous - Mar 28, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    I wonder if having LaRoche play carefully (i.e., shifting relays to the second baseman) for a month or so will allow Marerro to find his feet in Syracuse should he need to be called up to replace LaRoche on a longer term basis.bertbkatz

  18. JaneB - Mar 28, 2011 at 2:59 AM

    If Mark Z says the injury is no big deal, I will accept that. I was saying otherwise till now.I hope Mark Z is even more right than he usually is. Because Morse o. First base is fine, but I like hImi better in left.

  19. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    sjm308…. Hey!… I've used anonymii before. Others have, too. And there are pitchers who continue to throw with slight labrum tears (no… no one on the Nats)

  20. Joe Seamhead - Mar 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Hopefully LaRoche's slight tear is no big deal. We want him @ 1st as much as possible. Can't wait for Thursday! On another note, this blog has been mostly an informative,mature,good quality baseball discussion, with often good natured disagreement. I sure hope that it stays that way.

  21. JamesFan - Mar 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    I think this injury is worse than they are saying. He'll start the season. If he continues to have trouble, it's surgery and out for a month or so. They never are straightforward on this stuff.

  22. NatsJack in Florida - Mar 28, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    JamesFan…. and besides a pessimistic attitude, what makes you think that?

  23. Steve M. - Mar 28, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    No comment.

  24. Anonymous - Mar 28, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    now it is a labral tear versus a rotator cuff tear, isn't that what Jesus Flores and CWM had and they lost multiple seasons over it!? This cannot be good news, I say Marrero is starting at 1B by May 1st.





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