Adam LaRoche got his second opinion Tuesday. And it’s not that he’s ugly, too.
LaRoche, who was diagnosed with a partially torn labrum back in spring training, rest his throwing shoulder for at least a couple of weeks, CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman reports. Surgery was not recommended, but he was placed on the disabled list prior to Monday’s game.
Expectations are that the Nationals will activate Rick Ankiel in his place on Tuesday.
LaRoche has a .172 average that ranks second worst in the majors among qualified batters. Only Jonny Gomes, at .171, is worse. His .258 slugging percentage ranks dead last.
The Nationals don’t have any great options for replacing him at first base, but it’s not like their production from the position could get any worse. Michael Morse figures to pick up most of the starts, with Matt Stairs playing occasionally against right-handers.
Ankiel, who has been supplanted by Roger Bernadina in center field, can get some of the at-bats in left that had been going to Morse.
Yadier Molina has two World Series rings, multiple Gold Gloves, Platinum Gloves, All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger award. He now has an all-time record too.
The record: the most games caught with one team. Last night he caught his 1756th career game with the Cardinals, with ties him with Gabby Hartnett of the Cubs, who last caught in 1941 and set the record in 1940, his last season with Chicago. Molina will break the record next time he dons the tools of ignorance, likely tonight against the Phillies.
Given how badly catchers get beaten up — and Molina has taken a beating at times in his career — and given how well mastery of the position leads to a catcher earning journeyman status, as it were, it’s quite a thing to catch that many games for one team.
Given that Molina is under contract with the Cardinals for two more seasons and has stated his desire to retire a Cardinal many times, he’s likely to put that record so far out of reach that it’ll likely take at least another 78 years to break it, if indeed it is ever broken.