LaRoche, Wang updates plus final clubhouse quotes

The Nationals expect Adam LaRoche to miss a couple days due to right oblique soreness, which the first baseman began feeling during Wednesday’s game after diving for a ball.

LaRoche, who leads the Nationals in home runs and RBIs, says that the positive news is that team doctors don’t believe the muscle is torn. The negative news is that he’ll need to rest the oblique to make sure the muscle heals.

If it’s just soreness of the oblique, LaRoche could return sooner rather than later. A strained or torn oblique, however, can require an extended rest period, which would really be a blow to the Nats, considering Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse are already sidelined with injuries.

“I know these things can linger,” LaRoche said. “I hope we caught it early enough where we can knock it out shortly and get back out there, because obviously the timing couldn’t be any worse.”

LaRoche said there are no plans for him to get an MRI on the oblique and didn’t seem incredibly concerned about possibly missing a large chunk of time. We’ve already seen this season, however, how a seemingly minor injury can suddenly turn into something more severe. (See: Morse and Drew Storen.)

Chien-Ming Wang was scheduled to make a rehab start for Double-A Harrisburg tonight, but his outing was pushed back to tomorrow due to wet conditions.

The Senators ended up eventually playing tonight’s game after waiting through a lengthy rain delay, but the decision was made to bump Wang’s start so he didn’t have any setbacks with his strained left hamstring on the wet turf at Metro Bank Park. According to reports out of Harrisburg, Wang will make tomorrow’s start for low-A Hagerstown.

Meanwhile, here’s what Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy had to say about Bryce Harper after tonight’s ballgame, in which Harper went 1-for-3 with a double and the game-winning RBI:

“The thing I noticed is that he plays really hard. That’s all you can really ask for out of someone with his status, where he’s at, being crowned, I don’t know, the savior or whatever signs are out there or in ESPN The Magazine. It’s all you can ask for. He does play really hard.”

A portion of the baseball fan base out there (however large) has a perception of Harper as a brash, attention-seeking kid whose talent can’t possibly match his hype. It’s very possible that a portion of Harper’s fellow major league players feel the same.

But the longer Harper keeps hustling and playing the game hard and clean, my guess is whatever negative perception of the 19-year-old is out there might start to fade.

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