Aug 26, 2014, 6:41 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Adam LaRoche was out of the Nationals’ lineup Tuesday night. Not because left-hander Cole Hamels was on he mound for the Phillies, but because of tightness in his back.
“He’s been dealing with a tight back for three or four days,” manager Matt Williams said. “Today it’s a little worse. It’s an opportunity to give him some rest, too. But he woke up this morning tight, so [the trainers] are going to work on him hard today and hopefully he’ll be good to go tomorrow.”
LaRoche had been playing through some mild discomfort in recent days, but it progressed to the point Tuesday where he couldn’t play. Williams originally had him penciled into his starting lineup but scratched the veteran first baseman after meeting with him at Citizens Bank Park.
Injury or not, LaRoche hasn’t gotten much time off lately. He had played every inning in the Nationals’ 24 games so far this month, four of them going extra innings. After a hot start to August, he is hitting just .156 (5-for-32) over his last nine games.
“He’s been playing a lot,” Williams said. “He’s been on the bases a lot. We’ve had some long games lately. All of that contributes to it. But he was in there originally until we talked today. He’s a little tight. But he’ll be good.”
With LaRoche out, Kevin Frandsen started at first base for only the fourth time this season.
Though he doesn’t intend to use him off the bench Tuesday night, Williams is hopeful LaRoche will be able to return to the lineup for Wednesday night’s series finale.
“I think he’ll be ready tomorrow,” the manager said. “But we’ll see how he wakes up in the morning.”
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