For the first half of the season, Adam LaRoche was the Nationals’ best hitter. July, though, has been a struggle. LaRoche has hit .130/.234/.167 in 64 plate appearances this month. He has played in all 47 games since he came off the disabled list in late May, but that will likely change Wednesday.
LaRoche could “potentially” be out of the Nationals’ lineup Wednesday against Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, Manager Matt Williams said. Getting Wednesday off would allow LaRoche two consecutive days of rest when combined with the Nationals’ off day Thursday.
Williams believes LaRoche’s slump owes to a mechanical issue in his swing. He has been dipping his bat, which causes him to flare balls to left field rather than hitting them with authority. LaRoche has been working hard to keep his weight up, and Williams said he feels great physically. Still, a day off could help reset LaRoche and help him recapture his form from earlier this season.
As for Tuesday night’s game, Kevin Frandsen will be available after he turned his ankle during a pinch-hit at-bat in the ninth inning Monday. In March 2008, Frandsen ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in the same ankle he twisted Monday.
“Kevin got scared a little bit,” Williams said. “That’s his Achilles’ ankle. When he blew up his Achilles’, that’s the same ankle. Anytime he has an issue there, it scares him. It scares us. If you have another issue with that, it’s not good. It’s sore, but he’s okay.”
Doug Fister also twisted his ankle Monday when he tried to stop a grounder up the middle in the sixth inning. Williams said he was “sore” but had no significant damage. He didn’t even require tests or treatment beyond ice.
The Rockies were not so lucky with their own injury trouble. They placed MVP-caliber shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on the disabled list, which means the Nationals will not need to face him again this series. That’s a good break against the already-depleted Rockies.