Bill Ladson of MLB.com spoke with Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche about his left shoulder injury. The outlook does not seem bright:
To recap, LaRoche's injury to his shoulder has gone from what was described as normal spring soreness, to a partial tear which could be played through, to a large tear in his labrum and a partial tear in the rotator cuff. The result? An aggravated shoulder injury that could threaten to keep the club's seven million dollar investment out of the lineup for potentially the rest of the season.
The plan as of now is to shut him down for two or three weeks without throwing or swinging a bat. If LaRoche is able to rebuild strength in the injured arm, and hopefully repair the tear he will be able to avoid season ending surgery. Unfortunately when shoulder injuries are allowed to worsen as it did in his case, it can get harder and harder to rehab without some sort of medical correction.
It's hard to understand what exactly happened here, but mistakes seem to have been made. To me it seems like there was a misdiagnosis in LaRoche's shoulder, and despite his obvious performance problems, both Jim Riggleman and Mike Rizzo took him at his word that he was healthy. As a result, he was allowed to play and worsen his condition. If this is the case than all three seem to blame. First LaRoche for not being open about his condition, second for Riggleman for not questioning his first baseman, and third for Rizzo not taking control of the matter and assuring his medical staff is doing their job as well as possible.
That being said, it seems to me that Riggleman and Rizzo are good at what they do because they are open, honest, and trust their players/staff. If LaRoche, a eight year MLB veteran, told the men in charge that he was healthy and wanted to play, then they had reason to believe he wasn't telling them the truth.
I'm sorry, that's an absurd stance to take. I don't care how long they've been playing, they've had a long time to practice the "I'm ok, skip" approach. You MUST have your doctors look out for the long-term interest of the club. And I AM SICK AND BLEEPING TIRED of every injury starting out as "we're just being cautious" and two years later maybe we'll see him in Viera.
Anyway, this is no way to run a baseball team, and you just have to be a damned moron if you don't see it that way.
@kcrusch What stance did we take exactly that was absurd. We pointed blame at Riggleman, LaRoche, the medical staff, AND Rizzo. Clearly this was mishandled, from top to bottom. We also pointed out the difficult situation that Riggleman and Rizzo were in. The doctors and the player said he was ok to go, but the numbers pointed otherwise. The real crime here was that a second opinion wasn't sought sooner.
My bad - I misread "If LaRoche, a eight year MLB veteran, told the men in charge that he was healthy and wanted to play, then they had reason to believe he wasn't telling them the truth." as "...then they had NO reason...".
Yes, you're exactly right - the ballplayer can be expected to say "I'm fine" whether or not he really is, and his supervisors should know that and act accordingly.
So you're not a moron, I am. But the bigger moron is whomever concludes that these injuries can be handled w/o surgery.
I really wish they'd at least call Marerro up for a couple weeks. He may well need another year in AAA, or will never make it, but isn't it common practice for a guy like him to get a taste/look in situations like this? He may not be THE ANSWER, but he's likely to hit better than Stairs.
@WillyYoder Yep. Previously, you said "The real crime here was that a second opinion wasn't sought sooner." -- considering the poor accuracy of the first opinions, I'd think a second opinion should be employed by the team in the first place.
@kcrusch Yeah it's tough with Marrero because while the club has made a huge investment in him (both time and money), he isn't 100% ready to bring up. It seems Rizzo has adopted the philosphy that he will not bring up anyone until they have fully mastered all the levels of the minor leagues. At least that is what he has said about Bryce Harper.
Given that they're likely to go with Morse at first base for the time being. But If Marrero does well for another month, it's possible to see him called up. A lot of people agree though that hte best philosophy is to let the youngster's play, that may be true, but it's not what we'll see.
I'd say there's a 90% chance he'll have surgery. Some people ahve battled back through physical therapy type rehab, but it's very very rare.