Adam LaRoche was originally in the lineup for the next-to-last game of the 2013 campaign, but the left-handed hitting first baseman was scratched late with what reports from Chase Field in Arizona are saying is a left bicep issue that will likely keep him out of the final two games of the season. If LaRoche sits out of tonight's game with the Diamondbacks and the season finale tomorrow, the 33-year-old first baseman who signed a 2-year/$24M deal with Washington this winter will end his third season with the Nationals with a .237/.332/.403 line, 19 doubles and 20 HRs in 152 games and 590 plate appearances over which he has been worth +0.7 fWAR.
LaRoche signed the two-year deal after testing the market and looking for a longer contract this winter after a career year in 2012 which saw the infielder who would go on to win a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger post a .271/.343/.510 line with 35 doubles and a career-high 33 HRs in 154 games and 647 PAs over which he was worth a career-best +3.4 fWAR.
After a dismal one home run, three double, .136/.213/.259 start to his two-year deal in 24 games and 89 PAs in April, LaRoche recovered with two strong months, posting a .330/.416/.608 line with four doubles and seven home runs in 28 games and 113 PAs in May and a .287/.370/.437 line with five doubles and two home runs in June, but in the second half of the season, the Nats' middle-of-the-order bat found himself moved out of the middle as he slumped again in July (.159/.227/.284) and August (.233/.337/.400) before bouncing back with a respectable September (.265/.414/.397).
LaRoche's rough 2013 campaign, which saw him struggle to keep weight on as well, has raised some questions about his role for 2014, though he's under contract at $12M for next season with a mutual option at $15M for 2015 (w/ a $2M buyout). The Nationals could platoon LaRoche with Tyler Moore if LaRoche's struggles against left-handers continue next season or look elsewhere for a first base option since the early-to-mid-season chatter about moving Ryan Zimmerman across the infield has died down considerably in recent weeks.
One thing is for sure, LaRoche is not playing tonight in Arizona.
• Here's the Nationals' lineup for the next-to-last game of the 2013 campaign:
Davey's NEW! Lineup, Sat. @ ARI/G162: Span cf, Zimmerman 3b, Werth rf, Harper lf, Desmond ss, Ramos c, Tracy 1b, Lombardozzi 2b, Haren rhp.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) September 28, 2013
More from Federal Baseball:
- Stephen Strasburg's Final Start Of 2013; Davey Johnson On 2013 Strasburg
- Game 160 WPA: Werth staying up for. Nats 8, AZ 4
- Nationals 8-4 Over Diamondbacks: Stephen Strasburg Finishes Strong In Arizona
- Nationals Start Jeff Kobernus And Tyler Moore vs D-Backs' Lefty Patrick Corbin
- Stephen Strasburg And Nationals Wrap Season Up In Arizona