On Sunday morning, another Nationals lineup was posted that did not include Adam LaRoche at first base. LaRoche, whom the Nationals signed this winter to a two-year $16 million contract, is experiencing soreness in his throwing shoulder, and Manager Jim Riggleman said he hopes to see LaRoche, who has been limited to DH duty thus far, make his debut in the field on Monday.
“We’re going to give it one more day to have the trainers work on him and let him do some long toss and let him make the call on whether he plays first base [Monday],” Riggleman said. “]Monday] or the next day, I think he will be playing first base. He actually has never gone through this before. Most guys do experience a little soreness and work through it. But this is totally new for him, so we’re being a little precautionary.”
Here is the Nationals’ full lineup for today’s 1:05 p.m. game against the visiting Atlanta Braves:
This will be the field staff’s first extended look at Laynce Nix, who thus far has received only four plate appearances, going 2 for 3 with a walk, a double and two runs scored. Nix, 30, has spent parts of eight seasons in the majors, hitting .291/.350/.455 in 182 plate appearances last season for the NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds.
Riggleman acknowledged Nix has “an uphill battle” to make the Nationals’ roster -- given the glut of outfielders already locked into jobs -- but also said Nix “is not a minor league ballplayer -- he’s a major league ballplayer.”
“With 60 players in camp it’s been a little tough to keep some guys sharp,” Riggleman said. “You know you’re going to have to send some guys out in the near future, so we want to make sure the staff gets to see them play in some games. Laynce is a guy who has considerable major league experience, and we want to get him an extended look, and that starts today.”
Livan Hernandez throws a simulated game this morning at 11 a.m., and I’ll try to post something here afterwards.
Since today’s game will be both televised and broadcast on radio, I’ll probably skip the live-blog. Oh, I should also point out there is rain in the forecast this afternoon. But I’ll see what I can do about getting it to hold off.