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Season-ending surgery for LaRoche

Jun 15, 2011, 3:39 AM EDT

Since learning in March he had a tear in his left shoulder, Adam LaRoche held out hope he could make it through the season without needing surgery.

On Tuesday, the Nationals first baseman finally conceded what had looked inevitable for a while: He will have surgery Thursday and miss the rest of 2011.

Three weeks after going on the disabled list in a last-ditch attempt to rest the injury and return to action, LaRoche met with team officials and informed them the shoulder had not improved enough to continue.

“A couple weeks ago, when I started this rehab process, I thought there was a chance this would happen,” he said following Tuesday night’s 8-6 win over the Cardinals. “I didn’t want to talk about it because it was something I was hoping would go in the other direction and it didn’t. I’m comfortable we’ve done everything we could possibly do to find out if it needs surgery or not. I’m comfortable with it now.”

Surgery will take place Thursday in Washington by team orthopedist Wiemi Douoguih, who has performed similar shoulder procedures on
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  1. Aussie Gus - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:20 AM

    Just because I know the question is coming – http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2010/3/10/1365703/disabled-list-trends-and-teamThis only shows DL data until 2009, and 1)I have no idea what 2010 and 2011 looks like2)I have no idea if we've turned over medical staff since 2009

  2. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:40 AM

    sorry he's hurt, but blessing in disguise?

  3. Farid Rushdi - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:46 AM

    I remember an interview with LaRoche after he signed and one of the things he listed as a strong point was that he had never missed any significant time due to injury.Whoops.It's not a bad thing. Morse plays the rest of the season at first and we'll know for sure if he's the long-term solution there. And even if he is, there is nothing wrong with putting Morse back in left for a year and letting LaRoche play next year.This is so similar to what happened last year to Jason Marquis. He signed a two year contract (like LaRoche)and got about the same amount of money. He was terrible until he landed on the DL and then lost the rest of the season to surgery. This year, he is superb. LaRoche is Mr. Reliable. If the Nationals keep him for 2012 (and I can't see them being able to unload his contract), he'll return, play stellar defense and hit .270-20-80. Morse goes back to left and Nix … well, not sure what happens to him. He has 4.07 years of MLB service according to baseball-reference.com so even though he's signed to a one-year contract, I think he is still the property of the team through 2012. If that's the case, and he ends up hitting .280-20-70 or so, he'll be a potential trade candidate this winter.Man, I hope Bryce Harper can play center, because I want either Nix or Morse in left and Werth in right.

  4. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:49 AM

    Aussie Gus in 2010 I believe the Nats were 2nd in innings/payroll lost due to injury. For just pitchers they finished first according to Fangraphs. That should indicate a lot. This year they haven't had the bad luck with pitchers they had last year (Marquis, Strasburg, JD Martin, Mock, and more). As for LaRoche, this was a gem of a player uncovered by the Nat's brass. You could tell right out of spring training he was playing in pain, and you could see it in every at bat. At times it made me wince when I watched. I kept calling for Nats management to do the right thing and let him go on the DL. One can guess with high probability that it was the Nat's brass and not the player that wanted him to try to play through it. Very bad move on the part of the Nats upper level management. Bad move.

  5. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 4:59 AM

    Man, I hope Bryce Harper can play center, because I want either Nix or Morse in left and Werth in right.Farid, how are things in the land of the Big Skies and the Rockies? You of all these folks should know that Rizzo wants Upton. Ladson can often be wrong but his sources appear to be pretty reliable. Too often has he opined about the Nats (Rizzo) wanting BJ Upton. That a change of scenery would be beneficial for him. Ladson also notes that BJ Upton is a childhood friend of the FOF Ryan Zimmerman.Now if you happened to have read Adam Kilgore's article on the Nats improved fielding you will note that he links to a Fangraph's page that shows UZR/150 for all teams. Considered to be the ultimate advanced stat for measuring fielding and defensive prowess. The Nats finish 15th right in the middle. At the top? The Tampa Bay Rays who lost all of those high-end free agents this year to free agency. ~smiles~ Hmmm … and who is their starting center fielder? BJ Upton. Still, over top prospect Desmond Jennings.So, what Rizzo is in effect saying is that if Upton comes over to the Nats his offense might improve … but what he really wants is the defense which is far superior to both Bernadina and most especially to Rick Ankiel. Ankiel's UZR isn't all that great … what he has is the best single tool for an outfielder in the game: his left pitching arm. It should still be pitching not playing CF. So, what we might guess as Rizzo's projected outfield in 2012 or 2013 at the latest?LF Jayson WerthCF BJ UptonRF Bryce Harper.

  6. Anonymous - Jun 15, 2011 at 5:03 AM

    LF Jayson WerthCF BJ UptonRF Bryce Harper.The "fan fav" project outfield where BJ Upton doesn't appear in a Nats uniform? Most often espoused in a constant and continuous litany of postings by BinM.LF Jayson WerthCF Ian DesmondRF Bryce Harper.CF

  7. natsfan1a - Jun 15, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Can't say I'm surprised. Hope that the surgery goes well and LaRoche comes out as good as new. Thanks for the great D even while your shoulder was barking, Adam.

  8. Doc - Jun 15, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    @ Aussie Gus, Anon 12:49Correctomundo, something's rotten in the Nats FO/Medical room.LaRoche had the injury(ies), i.e. labrum, rotator cuff) when he signed before ST. Rizzo never saw an injury that he didn't think that a player could play through. This is a guy that traded Biemel for a player that was 'about to have' Tommy John. He appears to have gotten lucky with Mattheus. Lots of examples of the above, over the past few years.

  9. Wally - Jun 15, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    I hope the surgery and rehab goes well for Adam, and I look forward to seeing him next year. Fine, fine fielder and a better hitter than we saw.

  10. JaneB - Jun 15, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Sending good vibes to Adam. I really loved watching his fielding and his quiet reserve on the field. I was an Adam Dunn fanatic, determined tom spend at least a year not liking his replacement, and he had me by the second home game.

  11. DFL - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Too bad for LaRoche. Looks like the Nats have three first-basemen for 2012- LaRoche, Morse and Marrero. Will Morse be moved to left? Marrero traded? And what can we get for him?

  12. Unkyd - Jun 15, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Best wishes. Hope to enjoy Adam's healthy talents next year…

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