What Happened To Andy LaRoche?
By Tom Smith
Andy LaRoche has officially blown our minds. What? Happened?
This player is not this bad. He isn’t.
LaRoche works hard. I swear he ran to PirateFest last year. His work ethic showed in 2009 when he was insanely improved defensively under Perry Hill.
Where did the 2009 third baseman with a 2.5 Wins Above Replacement Andy LaRoche go?
No idea. We are still looking.
An early season fielding slump in which LaRoche had four errors in one homestand costing his team valuable runs was uncharacteristic:
"“When you go in a funk, you’re not reading the hops as well as you should — you’re not moving your feet as much, you’re not reading the ball off the bat as well. It’s just something that he needs to work on. It just looks like every ball is an uncomfortable catch for him right now. When that happens, not every hop is a bad hop. Obviously he’s very good, and he’ll figure it out.” John Russell speaking about Andy LaRoche, May 2010"
We tend to talk to ourselves on puzzlers like LaRoche. It simply doesn’t add up. He is young. He can play. LaRoche will be one of several players that the Pirates must make a difficult decision on in the very near future.
Maybe it’s an ego crushing issue–Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker made LaRoche a bench player very quickly.
Perhaps it’s confidence. Maybe his approach to the game needs modification. After all, LaRoche became a role player very quickly in 2010. But certainly LaRoche needs zero help with his attitude off the field.
LaRoche gives back to his community. Let’s trust for his sake, he gets hot and can put all these ugly numbers in the rear view.
"“My swing isn’t just the same. I was feeling good before that. Then, it flared up, I missed a few games. I lost it somewhere in there. I’m trying to get it back right now. I’ll come out of this soon.” Andy LaRoche, June 2010"
Pardon me Andy, but it’s not back yet.
LaRoche has only played nine games in the Venezuelan Winter League. It’s a very small sample size.
Stay calm. For God sakes Rum, LaRoche is in the beginning of an extended season in a foreign country.
LaRoche started playing 12Oct2010. The League wraps up 30Dec2010.
He has only batted 33 times. It’s a small sample size.
He has struck out twelve times. LaRoche has a small batting average: .091
He has two walks. It’s a small OBP: .143.
Venezuela is a small country. There is nothing we enjoy about offensive baseball stats that are small.
A look at the production LaRoche had in 2010 for the Pirates reveals that since 1June2010 until yesterday, LaRoche has 19 hits in his last 138 at-bats. His only extra base hits in this time span include four doubles and one homerun.
Sources: PBC Blog
The Pirates website news story hasn’t been updated in four days. Heh, at least it’s still focusing on Taillon and Allie even if it’s not fresh. Nice work. Keep it up