The Washington Post

Adam LaRoche will remain in the lineup, and Wilson Ramos is returning to it

(Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Manager Davey Johnson knew before today’s game Tony Cingrani would be a difficult matchup for Adam LaRoche. A deceptive, hard-throwing, left-handed strikeout machine was not the prescription to end LaRoche’s wicked slump.

And still, Johnson walked up to LaRoche and told him, “I’m most concerned about what you need.”  LaRoche told his manager, “Sitting doesn’t do me any good. I need to play.”

Johnson kept LaRoche in the lineup, only moving him down to the sixth in the order. Even after LaRoche went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts Sunday – extending his hitless streak to 26 at-bats that includes 13 strikeouts – LaRoche will remain in the order Monday night when the Nationals face the Braves and right-hander Julio Teheran.

“His timing is a little off,” Johnson said. “Maybe his pitch selection is a little off, trying to make something happen. He’s a veteran hitter. He’ll come around. He’ll be fine.

“He contributes so much just defensively. I liked him out there. The score could have been a lot worse. He made some good plays out there today. But his bat will come around.”

LaRoche appreciated Johnson’s support as he remained frustrated, yet determined to snap out of the kind of slump he typically endures early in the season.

“He’s been great,” LaRoche said. “He gave me the option today to play or to sit. He’s doing everything he can. We’ve had some talks about it. I’m just picking every brain I can, hoping somebody can pinpoint something I’m not seeing. I continue to watch film and continue to go out there.

“I feel like every at-bat right now, I feel like I’m 1-2. Before the at-bat even starts, I feel like I’ve got a strike or two on me. It’s tough to hit like that. It’s tough to hit in a defensive mode. I’ve never been successful hitting on the defensive side. I’ve got to stay aggressive and expect it to turn.”

The Nationals’ lineup will have one change when they get to Atlanta. Catcher Wilson Ramos, as expected, will come off the disabled list and give Kurt Suzuki a break. Suzuki played 13 of 14 games with Ramos on the disabled, sitting only on Wednesday afternoon following a night game.

In the clubhouse Sunday evening, General Manager Mike Rizzo gave Jhonatan Solano a hug and said, “See you soon.” Solano, who will head back to Class AAA Syracuse as Ramos is activated, thanked him.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
What can babies teach students?
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
How a hacker group came to Washington
The woman behind the Nats’ presidents ‘Star Wars’ makeover
How hackers can control your car from miles away
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained
Next Story
Adam Kilgore · April 28, 2013