Saturday, March 15, 2008
Last week the Los Angeles Dodgers' highly touted prospect Andy Laroche injured his thumb in a freak play at 3rd base. At the time Laroche was contesting Nomar Garciaparra for the starting 3rd base position, and having his best Spring Training to date. The last two years Laroche never impressed in Spring Training, seeming too relaxed and not making himself a favorite among the Dodgers coaching staff and management. This year, with a new coach, he got off to a good start showing power and a good eye, but it was cut short by a ball glancing off the side of a baserunner and tearing his Ulnar Collateral Ligament. The recovery process takes 8-10 weeks, and I'd expect him to not get called up til well after that. It is a tough blow for the Dodgers and their fans as Laroche provides much more upside than the power challenged Garciaparra. I think the real shame here is that Laroche could lose a bit of his power stroke, as hand injuries tend to have an effect on power hitting. My other concern is that Laroche was already starting to get labeled as an injury prone player having a recurring back injury, and a hurt shoulder already. While this has been described as a freak play on all accounts, it's yet another injury on his resume. For now, Dodger fans must hope that Garciaparra can stay healthy- at least until Laroche makes a full recovery, and that Laroche can make a mid season return to bolster what should be an improved Dodger lineup.