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The Baseball Show: How much have Nats missed LaRoche?

May 16, 2014, 7:40 AM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Having already dealt with an unusual amount of injuries this season, the Nats lost another regular to the disabled list in Adam LaRoche this week. On Sunday LaRoche was placed on the 15-day DL with a right quad strain, becoming the fifth member of the Nats’ Opening Day lineup to reach the disabled list already this season.

LaRoche was playing well, too. He hit the DL with a .319 average, five home runs and 21 RBI. In this clip from ‘The Baseball Show,’ Mark, Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak look at the impact of LaRoche’s absence.

Check it out right here:

  1. Joe Seamhead - May 16, 2014 at 8:18 AM

    I think that the very, merry Tyler Moore has filled in surprisingly well for Adam. Tyler doesn’t so much replace LaRoche as much as he fills in adequately for him. I still don’t think that Moore has yet shown that he can hit ML pitching consistently. Though he hit a change up the other night, and even a curveball a couple of weeks ago, those are but two off speed pitches that he has made contact with out of many dozens that he has swung and missed. Maybe he will improve in that regard with steady at bats, but it remains to be seen.I hope for his, and the team’s sake, tethat he can make the adjustment. Anybody throws him a straight fastball under 94-96 mph you can often kiss it goodby. He has been a total sucker for curveballs outside from both RH and LH pitchers.

  2. Joe Seamhead - May 16, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    And he has done a fine job at first.

    • natsguy - May 16, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      To be a bit more accurate, he has caught everything thrown at him within a reasonable distance. A fine job, meh. Better than Adam Dunn.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 16, 2014 at 9:07 AM

        Again, he has filled in for, not replaced, ALR. I stand by my statement, and most of you know that I am not a huge believer that Tyler will ever be a good ML starter, but he has done fine as a fill in guy. [Honestly, I'd rather have Morse at first and/or in LF than Moore, but we don't have that option anymore].

      • therealjohnc - May 16, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        I do think Moore has looked much better defensively this year than when he first came up. Not just on throws, but he moves better around the bag and flashes better range than I expected. I’m not saying he’s a Don Mattingly or Keith Hernandez over there, but he hasn’t hurt the team and has occasionally helped. To me, that’s a fine job.

  3. Section 222 - May 16, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    I think that Moore has been much more than adequate in the field. He’s made some nice scoops of throws that were not that well placed. Still don’t have a lot of confidence in this bat, but he came through on Wednesday.

  4. NatsLady - May 16, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    Looks like the Nats could get Cueto next week. That might not be fun.

    • adcwonk - May 16, 2014 at 9:23 AM

      A good argument to made for Cueto being the best pitcher in baseball right now.

      • Section 222 - May 16, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        Brian Kenny makes that argument just about every other day on MLB Now. Cueto has been spectacular.

  5. adcwonk - May 16, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Wonk’s Friday’s Fridbits

    – Mets pitcher J DeGrom: 1-for-1 this season (last night was his MLB debut)
    — All other Mets pitchers: 0-for-64.

    – Johnny Cueto pitched another shutout — his BAA is a ridiculous .135
    — Cueto is the first pitcher to go at least seven innings and allow two or fewer runs in each of his first nine starts in over 100 years
    — Cueto has more complete games this year than any other team in baseball
    —- and leads the league in WAR, ERA, WHIP, IP, K’s

    – Matt Cain gave up 2 HR’s to the 1st 7 batters he faced, and 4 runs in the first three innings last night
    — and got his first win of the season

    • Hiram Hover - May 16, 2014 at 9:46 AM

      Really cool stat about Cueto.

      I was also surprised to learn that of those 9 games, his team lost 3 of them (in which he gave up 1, 2, and 0 runs), and he took the L in 2.

      • adcwonk - May 16, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        Here another cool stat: Cueto has already thrown more innings this year than Aroldis Chapman has thrown in any year

    • nats106 - May 16, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      It means Cueto is due for a bad outing.

      • adcwonk - May 16, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        Bingo! (somewhat related to a “reverse lock” ?)

    • Sec 3 My Sofa - May 16, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      I reckon he’ll get that ASG invite this time.

    • adcwonk - May 16, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      and:

      — Antonio Bastardo (second worst ERA on the team with 5.09) is tied for the team lead in wins.

    • Section 222 - May 16, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      Kill the win!

      • Eugene in Oregon - May 16, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        From CSN Chicago:

        “[Jeff] Samardzija has a 1.45 ERA, going 7-for-8 in quality starts, but he will still be looking for his first win when he faces the first-place Milwaukee Brewers on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.”

  6. Theophilus T.S. - May 16, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    You need to be very careful how you assess young power hitters based on limited playing time. I think Chris Davis was No. 3 on the Rangers’ depth chart when they traded him to Baltimore. See, also, Morse, Michael. Or last year’s version of Mike Carp. Davis may never hit like 2013 again but I’d take his 2012 season over and over again. I’m not saying Moore is Davis, or Morse, but I do think we haven’t seen his ceiling, or anything close to it.

    • Joe Seamhead - May 16, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      Maybe we haven’t, maybe we have. All we have to go by is what we’ve seen. In 2012 nobody had seen him and every pitcher seemingly tried to blow fastballs by him. Davey used him as primarily a pinch hitter, with a spot start or late inning defensive fill in. In 2013 the league seemed to adjust to him and successfully threw him a lot more off speed stuff out of the strike zone. He still hasn’t shown that he can leave that stuff alone. Get 2 strikes on him, throw an outside curve, or a low slider. and he will flail and wiff at it way too often. And I don’t give a rat’s patootie what he did, or does, in Syracuse. There is a huge difference in the skill level of the pitchers in ML and AAA. Justin Maxwell crushed AAA pitching, too, and still crushes ML flatline fastballs. He still isn’t a very good ML hitter. At this point, they are both ML subs, or AAAA players, in my opinion.

    • jd - May 16, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      I agree. I wish there was an opportunity to see Moore play 50 games or so in a row with 4 – 5 at bats each night. I don’t think it’s fair to judge him otherwise.

      • Section 222 - May 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        If he gets that opportunity this year, that’s not good news for the Nats.

  7. Joe Seamhead - May 16, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    I see Moore as more of a RH’ed Lucas Duda than a Chris Davis, or Michael Morse, at this point. Again, I hope for his sake and the Nats sake that he progresses and that I am wrong again, as I admit to often be.

  8. natsjackinfl - May 16, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Given the limited mobility of Laroche the past couple of weeks, I’d go so far as to say Tyler is an upgrade at first until Adam is healthy.

  9. Eugene in Oregon - May 16, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    If I’m not mistaken, the rule of thumb for being able to evaluate a major league hitter is roughly 1200 ABs. Tyler Moore has 366.

    • tcostant - May 16, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      I though it was two weeks?

      • adcwonk - May 16, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        We’re fast around here!
        ;-)

        And we (or at least one person here did) evaluate a player’s entire season based on the first inning of game one!

    • Hiram Hover - May 16, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      Well, the predictive value of stats gets higher (less subject to random variation) with larger sample sizes, and there’s a threshold below which a sample size is so small that it has no predictive value at all. But I don’t think the threshold is 1,200 ABs for most hitting stats–see http://www.fangraphs.com/library/principles/sample-size/.

      In any event, most hitters don’t get anything like that # of MLB ABs, and, like Tyler Moore, they still have to be evaluated. I don’t think, in the language of an earlier poster (not Eugene), that “fair” has anything to do with it.

      Tyler Moore, like everybody else, doesn’t get to pick his chances, and he has to make the most of the chances he gets. Them’s just the breaks.

  10. bowdenball - May 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    Well I’d say this news more than balances out the possibility of facing Cueto next week:

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 4m

    Sources: Votto did not make trip with #Reds, getting MRI on left knee. Stint on DL appears likely. Same knee that he had surgery on in 2012.

    • masterfishkeeper - May 16, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Certainly increases the chances of Cueto losing 1-0 or 2-1! Wow.

    • Danny - May 16, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      Nice. I was going to say, still need to score to win.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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