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.
Giants closer Hunter Strickland had an ugly top of the ninth inning Monday night against the Marlins. He allowed three runs, serving up a walk, a double, another walk, and two singles. The Marlins overcome a 4-2 deficit and went on to win 5-4.
Unhappy with his performance, Strickland punched a door and fractured his pitching hand. He will undergo surgery and will miss six to eight weeks, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
That’s a huge loss for the Giants, as Strickland has been terrific, Monday’s start notwithstanding. He carries a 2.84 ERA with 13 saves and a 29/13 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings. Manager Bruce Bochy said Tony Watson or Sam Dyson will fill in at closer while Strickland is out, per Pavlovic.
Bochy said that he is “disappointed” and “crushed” about Strickland’s injury, noting that the right-hander had grown a lot as a pitcher and as a person, Pavlovic adds.
Strickland has a problem with anger, it appears. He exacted revenge on Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper last year, throwing a 98 MPH fastball at him, then punched him in the head when the two brawled. Strickland wanted revenge because, in the 2014 playoffs, Harper stared at a home run he hit off of Strickland.