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Posted at 9:19 AM ET, 03/ 6/2011

LaRoche still day-to-day with mild shoulder soreness

By Dave Sheinin

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:

CF Morgan
SS Desmond
RF Werth
DH Ankiel
C Ramos
LF Nix
2B Espinosa
1B Aubrey
3B Cora
(P Detwiler)

*****

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.

By Dave Sheinin  | March 6, 2011; 9:19 AM ET
 
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Comments

Best effort would be appreciated.

Posted by: joemktg1 | March 6, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Can't blame him for wanting to sit out more games.

Hey Adam, wait until mid-May when your team is already 20 games under .500 and looking ahead to 2012.

Than that shoulder "soreness" will start acting up again.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | March 6, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Finally, some baseball on TV worth watching...go Nats.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 6, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Where is today's game televised?

Posted by: Vze2sr66 | March 6, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

MASN has it today. F.P. Santangelo makes his debut as Carpenters color commentator, replacing Dibs.

Posted by: cokedispatch | March 6, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Hey Nats Fans! Looks like Riggleman is doing a good job moving players in an out of his lineup, getting a look at everyone. The Bonus is that the Nats are competing real well, and coming out on top a lot! I like the way things are shaping up! Look for Harper to Crack A-- and be real sharp in his September, "cup of coffee" call up!
Go Nats!

Posted by: patsgrill4U | March 6, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Hope this doesn't follow the all too familiar progression of DTD-DL-surgery.

Posted by: Natmeister | March 6, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Nick the Stick -> Cleveland and Manny Acta.

Nats best guess trade partners still remain the TBR and the Indians. Lannan is someone Acta would love to have. But in Tampa Bay 30+ veteran Jimmy Shields would appear to be the odd man out in a pitching (and starting pitching!) rich organization and farm system. A trade involving Lannan and perhaps Marerro plus young relief pitching might just be enough to acquire Shields. With Shields the Nats would have a reasonably reliable veteran starter to take the pressure off of Jordan Zimmermann. Detwiler and Gorzelanny appear able to handle things as far as left handers are concerned. So, Lannan looks valuable (he is after
all only 26) and replaceable. [Tom Milone "organization's pitcher of the year", Danny Rosenbaum "runner up to Tom Milone" and last year's 2nd round pick college pitcher Sammy Solis, all lefties, all expected to move quickly toward the majors. And the reason why Matt Chico is already over in minor league camp.]

The wild card in this? Yuniesky Maya, the right handed potential #3 ace from Cuba who appears to have regained his velocity. He would seem to be the better choice ... however, he has never pitched a 162 game major league season.

I'm not sure you send Maya to Syracuse even though he has options? In Syracuse you have a glut of starters including 3 that should be promoted to AAA in Tom Milone, Ryan Tatusko, and Bradley Meyers. Martis and Chico are already there. Have to think Gaudin, Martin, Mandel, Barthmaier, and Arneson are also all vying for positions in the Sryacuse rotation.

I still see Livan Hernandez moved into the role as Jim Riggleman's rubber armed pitcher who can start, relief and even close. As a starter he tends to become less effective as teams see him often enough. Taking advantage of his strengths might
be to keep him in always ready in the bullpen as a "in case of fire pull this lever" for the Nats.

That would give Marquis (replaced by Strasmas next year), Zimmermann/"Shields?"/Maya, Detwiler, and Gorzelanny. Stammen could end up as trade bait as well. There's no room for him in Syracuse?

With luck the end of the year will see a very effective rotation of Strasburg, Detwiler, Zimmermann, Gorzelanny and Maya. A rotation that just may have the potential to be something special.

If the Indians became trade partners the Nats would be looking for prospects to continue refurbishing the farm system.

From MLBTradeRumors:

" the second longest tenured player on the team would be 29-year-old righty James Shields. He's given the Rays four straight seasons of 200+ innings with a 4.17 ERA overall, though he slipped to a 5.18 ERA with a league leading 34 homers allowed last summer. The 2011 season is the last guaranteed year on Shields' contract ($4.25MM), though he would still be under control as an arbitration-eligible player in 2012. The club also holds very affordable options for 2012 ($7MM), 2013 ($9MM), and 2014 ($12MM)."

Posted by: periculum | March 6, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

peric: Interesting speculation on the pitching. Personally, I think Rizzo is taking a wait and see attitude; He knows what he has in Livo, Lannan, Marquis & Zimmermann - Three reliable inning-eaters & a potential #2 on an inning limit. The #5 slot will likely be filled by a mashup of Maya, Gorzelanny &/or Detwiler.

That being said, if an opportunity for a trade presents itself, I wouldn't be suprised to see Rizzo move someone like Marquis, Detwiler, Lannan or others in a deal. It will just come later rather than sooner, imo.

Posted by: BinM | March 6, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Good start by Detwiler. Unfortunate error by Desmond.

Posted by: cr8oncsu | March 6, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

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