The Nationals can ill afford another injury with Michael Morse and Ryan Zimmerman already on the disabled list, but they could be without Adam LaRoche for at least the next couple of days.
According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, LaRoche was scratched from tonight’s lineup against the Diamondbacks due to soreness in his right oblique. The severity of the injury isn’t yet known, but as we’ve often seen, oblique strains can sideline players for weeks at a time.
After being limited to just 43 games last year due to surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, LaRoche has been the most productive hitter in the Nationals’ lineup this season. The 32-year-old first baseman is batting .311/.392/.511 with four homers, 17 RBI and a .903 OPS across 102 plate appearances.
Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.
Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.
Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.
Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.