Adam LaRoche to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery Thursday

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The verdict is in.

According to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com, Adam LaRoche will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery on Thursday.

The decision to go ahead with surgery was made during a meeting with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, manager Jim Riggleman, trainer Lee Kuntz and team doctor Wiemi Douoguih prior to tonight’s game against the Cardinals. He is expected to be 100 percent for spring training next season.

LaRoche was diagnosed with a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder during spring training. The 31-year-old first baseman attempted to play through the discomfort, but batted just .172/.288/.258 with two home runs and a .546 OPS over his first 177 plate appearances prior to going on the disabled list last month. He was put on a multi-week rehab plan as a last-ditch effort to avoid surgery, but his shoulder hasn’t responded as hoped.

The Nationals signed LaRoche during the offseason to a two-year, $16 million contract with a mutual option for 2013. He is owed $8 million in 2012.

Ramón Laureano made an absolutely ridiculous play yesterday

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I talked about it in the recaps, but dear lord does Oakland A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano’s play in yesterday’s game against the Blue Jays deserve it’s own post.

Jays first baseman Justin Smoak led off the second with a single Then Teoscar Hernández then came up and hit a long drive to center. In what, in and of itself, would’ve lead the highlight reels yesterday, Laureano ranged back to the wall and reached over to rob Hernández of a homer.

Laureano is known best for his arm, though, and that’s when he unleashed that hose, attempting to double off Smoak at first base all the way from the warning track. The throw was not on target — indeed, it sailed way past first base — but that was itself impressive as all get-out. As A’s pitcher Brett Anderson said after the game, he’s pretty sure the throw went farther than Hernández hit the ball in the first place. The arm strength on display there was simply phenomenal. But it was also lucky.

Lucky because the throw went so far into foul territory that it gave Smoak the courage to break for second base. Laureano was not the only one playing great defense on the play, though: A’s catcher Nick Hundley backed up the play, got Laureano’s errant throw and fired it down to second, nailing Smoak. And heck, Hundley’s throw was nothing to sneeze at either:

That did not go as an outfield assist for Lauerano, obviously, as his bad throw — which would’ve been an error had Smoak managed to advance, we must admit — broke that up. So, in the books it goes as an F7 and then a separate 2-4 putout. Still, it just shows Laueano’s incredible defensive abilities, both with the leather and with that cannon he has for an arm.

An arm that, this play not withstanding, gets him plenty of assists. Indeed, he has has five assists this season already and has 14 assists in just 70 games, which is a lot. To put it in perspective, it usually takes somewhere between 12-18 to lead the league in a full season with 20 being an outlier of sorts, only seen once every five years or so.

So, if you’re gonna hit it to center against the A’s, make sure you hit it all the way out. And if Laureano gets to it, for god’s sake, don’t run on him.