Adam LaRoche Injury: Nationals 1B To Undergo Season-Ending Surgery

LaRoche's shoulder problem has turned out far worse than initially feared, and after the shoulder didn't respond to treatment, he and the team have opted for surgery.

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Adam LaRoche Injury: Season-Ending Surgery Scheduled

Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche dealt with a shoulder injury that dated back to spring training. Despite assurances that it wouldn't affect his hitting, it affected his hitting, and further examination revealed more damage in the shoulder than was initially suspected, with a torn labrum and a partially torn rotator cuff.

Once that was discovered, LaRoche was instructed to rest and rehab for a few weeks to see if his shoulder would respond to treatment. However, LaRoche's shoulder didn't respond to treatment, which meant that this was all but inevitable:

Adam LaRoche will have season-ending surgery on Thursday.

LaRoche's 2011 is over, with 177 trips to the plate and a .546 OPS. In good news, or bad news, he's still under contract for $8 million in 2012, so he could give the Nationals some return on their investment next season.

If there's an upside to this, it's that LaRoche's injury has allowed the Nationals to see more of Mike Morse at first base, and Morse has responded by posting an OPS in the upper .800s. On a team with few good hitters, Morse has been one of the best.

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Adam LaRoche Injury: Tears Are Substantial, Could Miss Season

Adam LaRoche started the year with a partial tear of the labrum in his left shoulder. He was shot up with some cortisone, shuffled back out on the field, and considered to be something in between "healthy" and "day-to-day." After a look under the hood, though, things have gotten far worse. The progression of tweets from William Ladson of MLB.com tells the story:

According to #Nats 1B Adam LaRoche, he has a large tear in the labrum and some tearing in the rotator cuff.
"That’s not what I wanted to hear," Adam LaRoche said about his shoulder injuries. "I wish it didn’t take me 45 games to figure out something was totally wrong."
I'm not going to lie to you: After talking to #Nats 1B Adam LaRoche this evening, I'll be shocked if he came back this year.

It looks like the Nats are going to put off surgery for a while, prescribing rest and rehabilitation for right now, but it doesn't sound good coming from Ladson.

In LaRoche's place, the Nationals have been giving at-bats to Matt Stairs, Mike Morse, and Alex Cora, even though that last scenario is in direct violation of the Geneva Convention.

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Adam LaRoche Injury: Labrum Tear Sends Nationals 1B To DL

There are plenty of Washington Nationals who haven't been hitting, but Adam LaRoche might have the best excuse. Back in spring training, LaRoche was diagnosed with a partial tear of the labrum in his left shoulder. He was given a cortisone shot, and doctors assured him it wouldn't have affect his hitting, but through the first month and a half of the season, LaRoche has hit just .172 with three home runs. LaRoche most definitely feels like something is wrong, and Monday the Nationals have placed him on the disabled list.

LaRoche is not scheduled for surgery, and he and the team think it may take only a few weeks of rest for him to be good to go. But that's hardly a guarantee, so LaRoche's future is somewhat uncertain.

To take LaRoche's place on the roster, the Nationals are expected to activate Rick Ankiel from the disabled list on Tuesday. As for LaRoche's playing time at first base, Mike Morse is the most likely bet off the bench. Morse is sitting on a .650 OPS, but he mashed the ball a year ago and comes with halfway-decent offensive upside.

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