After first baseman Adam LaRoche played 43 of the Nationals' first 45 games with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, starting 42 of them, he has finally decided to shut it down for at least a couple weeks.
The Nationals placed LaRoche on the 15-day disabled list on Monday afternoon, after doctors in New York re-examined the first baseman's throwing shoulder. The team will shut him down from baseball activities for two weeks, and he'll likely go on a rehab assignment after that. Once LaRoche returns to the Nationals' lineup, he could wind up missing three weeks.
Doctors had told LaRoche before the season he would be affected more in the field than at the plate, and though he'd lost some power on his throws, he didn't make an error at first, saving a handful of errors by scooping low throws at first base. But he was hitting just .172 -- a low average even for the notoriously slow starter -- and had homered just three times.
Manager Jim Riggleman said the Nationals haven't looked at surgery, which would likely end LaRoche's season. But if this stint on the disabled list doesn't help his arm improve to a point where he can be productive, that might be the next step.
"Adam is basically saying, 'It doesn't hurt, but I can't believe I'm missing these pitches, so maybe it's something there not allowing me to get to the ball,' " Riggleman said. "You've got to explore that, to see if no throwing activities, no lifting, no swinging will let it calm down to the point that maybe then it can go back up. It's just unfortunate that he's got to go through this, but this is the step we're taking now."
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