As expected, Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche underwent season-ending surgery Thursday on his left shoulder. This according to CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman.
The procedure was performed by Dr. Wiemi Douoguih at Washington Center Hospital and was designed to repair a tear of the large labrum in LaRoche’s throwing shoulder. It was deemed a “success.”
LaRoche is not expected to do anything baseball-related until the fall and won’t be healthy again until the start of spring training next February.
The 31-year-old signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Nats this past offseason and will wind up having batted just .177/.288/.258 with three home runs in the first year of that deal. Those numbers are tough to swallow at the moment, but there are indications that the Nationals are going to be willing to spend heavily over the next several seasons. In fact, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal suggested earlier this week that Washington might even make a run at Prince Fielder this offseason in free agency. Maybe the Nats can simply brush off the LaRoche deal with a new commitment to spending big.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.
Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.