Aug 27, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT
PHILADELPHIA — Adam LaRoche returned to the Nationals lineup Wednesday, confident the minor back injury that sidelined him Tuesday won’t be a major long-term problem.
“I’ve had it before, and it’s not something where if I go play it can get much worse,” he said. “I know that from experience. I don’t have any fear that I’m going to go out there and do some damage. As of right now, it’s similar to what I’ve dealt with all these years.”
LaRoche said he played with some discomfort for a few days at the end of the Nationals’ homestand and then again Monday night in their series opener against the Phillies, when it felt worse. He thinks the delayed-by-traffic bus ride from D.C. to Philadelphia on Sunday night didn’t help matters.
“I felt it for a couple days, just a little bit of stiffness,” he said. “And then the bus ride just got me. I can loosen it up and it feels good. … Standing is the worst on it, for sure. If I’m moving or swinging or whatever, if I’m active with it, it stays pretty loose. But standing around it stiffens up.”
LaRoche was held out of Tuesday’s lineup but was able to come off the bench and pinch-hit in the ninth inning against Jonathan Papelbon. He popped out to end the game and seal the Nationals’ 4-3 loss.
Prior to Tuesday, LaRoche had played every inning in 24 consecutive games, maintaining his offensive production throughout. The 34-year-old has played in 114 games this season, missing only two weeks in May with a strained quadriceps muscle, and has managed to maintain an .826 OPS that surpasses his career mark of .812.
“He’s held up well,” manager Matt Williams said. “We’ve tried to give him some days, and certainly the off-days mixed in there help. But he’s been producing. He’s playing well. His legs feel good. The little back issue is not a huge deal. He’s had it before. Every once in awhile it gets a little cranky and we have to give him a day if we can.”
NL EAST STANDINGS
NL WILD CARD STANDINGS
THE BASEBALL SHOW
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 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: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Taylor avoids injury scare, returns to lineup with a bang
- Strasburg leaves Nats win over Marlins with injury
- Nats overcome rough start, win 7-4
- Nats look for fourth consecutive series win vs. Marlins
- Fan dies after fall from upper deck at Atlanta Braves game
- Nats gain a rare game on the Mets with win over Marlins
- Zimmermann, Nats bounce back to top Marlins
- Span's season is over, and maybe his Nats career as well
- Nats look to get even against Marlins
- Werth bobblehead release gets pushed back