Sidelined with a strained quadriceps since May 9, Adam LaRoche—the Washington Nationals bearded first baseman—is scheduled to make his first rehab start with the Potomac Nationals on Thursday night, tweets Dan Kolko of MASN Sports:
Adam LaRoche will play five innings at Potomac today in his first rehab game. Nats hope he’ll get 3 ABs. Will then go to Harrisburg tomorrow
— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) May 22, 2014
Here he is taking some pre-game swings at Pfitzner Stadium:
— Potomac Nationals (@PNats42) May 22, 2014
This is huge for a Nationals squad that has dealt with the injury bug all season. Tyler Moore, LaRoche’s replacement at first, has been just so-so. He enters Thursday’s contest against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a .217 average and OPS of .682.
LaRoche, on the other hand, was sizzling hot prior to making the short trip to the disabled list. He was hitting .319 with an OPS of .925 in 32 games following a somewhat disappointing season in 2013.
Assuming his five innings at Potomac go smoothly, LaRoche will make his way to Double-A Harrisburg next. He’ll likely play seven-to-nine innings there, at which point he’ll be ready to come back to the parent club.
This is just conjecture, but I think it’s safe to say that LaRoche will be ready to join the team on Monday, May 26 when the Nationals go on the road to start a series with the Miami Marlins. That is, of course, barring a setback.