Concerned with a lack of strength in his swing, Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche will see a doctor Sunday night or Monday morning for another look at the torn labrum in his left shoulder. LaRoche, who has the second worst average in the major leagues at .172, was diagnosed with the tear at the end of spring training but has only felt pain when making throws in the field. He is still not experiencing pain when swinging, but he's feeling an inability to power the ball the way he normally does, unable to get his top hand to the ball, and it has gone on long enough to prompt some worry.
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
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With yet another new lineup combination, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman will given Adam LaRoche a day off from first base and has removed Matt Stairs from the designated hitter spot after a 1-for-8 showing in the first two games of the series
The Nationals best scoring opportunity in a 4-2 game Saturday came after Laynce Nix walked and Jayson Werth singled to center field with one out in the sixth. The Nationals looked to be getting to Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie and designated hitter Matt Stairs -- still searching for his first hit in the series and third of the season -- was coming to the plate with a prime opportunity to reward manager Jim Riggleman for allowing him to be the DH. Instead he rolled over on a first-pitch changeup, hit into a 4-6-3 double play and ended the inning. Here's what he had to say about it:
Pitching coach Steve McCatty said the only thing that has changed for Henry Rodriguez the past few outings is the results.
The Nationals offense will take on right-hander Jeremy Guthrie this afternoon, three days after the Orioles used Guthrie in relief during a 15-inning game with the New York Yankees. Guthrie was scheduled to start Wednesday against New York, but because he was needed Tuesday night (for only a few pitches) he was pushed back to today.
To no one's surprise, after a record-setting night offensively, the Nationals are sticking with the exact same lineup in the middle game of their three-game set with the Orioles. Chances are, the Nationals 17-run, 19-hit outburst will not be duplicated, even if the lineup is. But it has to be encouraging for manager Jim Riggleman to get to the ballpark today and not have to even think about who he's running out there. Before we get to the full lineups, a few things that may have gone overlooked last night:
The Nationals clubhouse was more upbeat Friday night than they have been all season -- and with good reason. There aren't too many negatives to dwell on when a team gets 19 hits, scores 17 home runs, has two hitters a double shy of the cycle and hits a club-record six home runs. Here are some quotes that didn't make it into the game story about the Nationals' 17-5 victory over the Orioles:
Before Friday afternoon's game, several Nationals who had never played in Camden Yards mentioned the park's reputation as a hitter's ballpark. They then went out and in record-setting fashion proved that to be completely true.
Addressing reports that Major League Baseball was investigation a "verbal altercation"between Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and the umpiring crew from Thursday's game at Citi Field in New York, Rizzo said today that he's been in touch with MLB executive VP for baseball operations Joe Torre and has no timeline for a resolution of the investigation.
With the Nationals facing the first of three straight right-handed pitchers, Laynce Nix is slotted into left field and, in an attempt to break up the left-handers, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman has once again given Jayson Werth the start at cleanup.
As will be a trend this weekend as the Nationals begin Interleague play for the 2011 season, most of the pitchers they're facing will be unknown. To be certain they've watched video on them but few have ever faced them in person.
The Nationals get the luxury of a designated hitter this weekend as they open Interleague play in an American League park against the Baltimore Orioles. Tonight, with Jason Marquis on the mound, that may not seem like such a great idea (Marquis has one of the team's best averages) but the Nationals don't plan to waste the opportunity to get someone a few extra at-bats. The most likely candidate for those at-bats will be Matt Stairs, who relishes the opportunity.
A few thoughts and opinions as the Nationals head to Baltimore with the hope that they'll arrive with their offense in tow...
A baseball source has confirmed that MLB is looking into a report filed by the umpiring crew about a verbal altercation with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo.
As the Nationals packed up in the visiting clubhouse Thursday afternoon, leaving New York after 48 hours, two losses and without a single run, most of their post-game frustration was focused on Phil Cuzzi's blown call at first base in the ninth inning. "I want to be an umpire when I grow up," one Nationals player joked, the loudest voice in a quiet clubhouse. "No responsibility, no accountability."