Notes on LaRoche, Zimmerman, Rendon, Rosenbaum and more

First baseman Adam LaRoche delivered one of the biggest hits of Wednesday's 3-2 won over the Dodgers, but then had trouble moving around the bases.

LaRoche was unable to score from first following a long double. This was a clear sign that he can hit with his very sore quad, but he can't run as fast as he would like. It also bothers other parts of his game.

"That is another frustrating thing part there," LaRoche said. "It obviously hinders me on the base paths. It is tough to move defensively, too. I don't have the range that I normally would, you know, getting back to the bag just on reaching ground balls to our infielders. Takes a toll on it so, what can you do? Wrap it up, keep treating it."

LaRoche believes he can make it through this injury without have to take 15 days off for a trip to the disabled list.

"Just keep nursing it and hope it is something I can pull through without going on the DL," LaRoche said.

LaRoche was happy to see Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos return from his injury, surgery to remove a a fractured left hamate bone that kept him out 38 days. Ramos hit a double in his first at-bat and first pitch seen from Dodgers starter Dan Haren.

"It didn't take him long, did it?" LaRoche said. "He pounded that ball. Great to have him back and more importantly, him healthy. He said it felt great on his rehab starts. Knock on wood, hopefully we can keep him out there. We need to get through these injuries."

* Triple-A Syracuse left-hander Danny Rosenbaum underwent successful Tommy John ligament replacement surgery Thursday, according to his Twitter account. The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews and the ligament came from the same arm.

The expected recovery time for this type of major surgery is 12 to 18 months.

Rosenbaum was a 2011 MiLB.com Organization All-Star and was selected in the 22nd round of the 2009 amateur draft. He went 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts this season.

* While working a charity event Thursday to raise scholarship money for children at Don Bosco Cristo Rey, one of the gentleman I was serving at my table asked about third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

His query: When Zimmerman returns from his thumb injury, who plays third? With Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa playing well, he wondered how all three could fit into the liuneup.

Rendon would move back to second base and Espinosa would return to the bench. Espinosa would be first off the bench to substitute for Rendon or Ian Desmond.

Zimmerman's tenure earns him that right, but it has been amazing how good Rendon has been at the plate and in the field. I never realized how quick he was with the glove, as well. And he has been accurate in his throws to first and has been tremendously durable.

Remember all that talk about shoulders and ankles wiht him when he was drafted? Then Rendon hurt his ankle his first professional season and several worried he had a chronic injury.

Fast-forward to today and Rendon is batting .295 with 10 doubles, three triples, five homers and 23 RBIs in 34 games. He has been a key piece in the Nationals maintaining their upper division level in the National League East.

* Center fielder Michael Taylor has returned to the Double-A Harrisburg lineup. He had tweaked his knee last weekend.

He missed four days between May 3-7. Taylor broke out May 8 in a 12-6 loss at Binghamton, going 3-for-5 with a triple, home run and two RBIs.

* Hagerstown Suns third baseman Drew Ward is back with the team. He was out of the lineup for an undisclosed reason. Ward is batting .316 with 25 hits in 19 games, four doubles, one triple, three homers and 24 RBIs. He could return to the lineup any day now. The Suns are an amazing 25-7.

* Harrisburg left-hander Matt Purke broke out of a season-opening slump with a vengeance this week. Purke went six innings in a 6-0 win over Richmond on May 7. Purke allowed just two singles, no runs, no walks and struck out three. He is now 1-5. The Nationals have maintained their confidence in Purke, who they believe has major league stuff. He just needs to repeat is delivery on a consistent basis and hit his spots.

* I got an offer this week to be the fill-in public address announcer for the upcoming Mets series May 16-18 at Nationals Park. I have some prior experience stadium announcing with D.C. United of Major League Soccer at RFK Stadium and a few seasons with the NBA Washington Bullets when they played in USAirways Arena, as well as back in college.

But there is nothing like getting a chance to introduce a major league batter at major league baseball game. It's truly one of those bucket list moments.

Talking into a microphone in big open air stadiums is tricky, because thereis a slight delay, say one second or so, before what you say comes over the loud speakers. When you watch national anthem singers sing the anthem, notice how they place their fingers near or block one of their ears. That is because they are concentrating on listening to their voice as it comes out.

If you concentrate on what you hear coming out of the stadium speakers, it can totally mess you up. So I learned from the first time I ever did it you must concentrate on the script and not get caught listening to your voice. Otherwise it can come out sounding like mumbling baby talk. Looking forward to the opportunity!

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