OAKLAND - Just as it looked like the Nationals were starting to get healthier, they'll lose one of their most productive hitters for at least 15 days.
Manager Matt Williams announced after tonight's 4-3 walk-off loss to the A's that Adam LaRoche will have to be placed on the 15-day DL with a right quad strain.
LaRoche underwent an MRI earlier today, and after examination of the test results, the Nats have decided to shut their first baseman down for the time being.
"It's high quad, hip flexor, something that he's been nursing," Williams said. "Before it gets too bad, don't want to do it, but for the long-term health of Adam and our team, it's probably important to (put him on the DL) right now. Make sure we can calm it down as much as possible."
The Nats don't have a corresponding roster move to announce just yet, but the safe assumption is that Tyler Moore will be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse. Moore had been backing LaRoche up at first base prior to being optioned on Wednesday.
There is a rule stating that players who are optioned have to stay in the minors at least 10 days before being recalled, but that rule doesn't apply if that player is replacing someone on the roster who is landing on the DL. That would allow the Nats to bring back Moore and have him play first base at least part of the time with LaRoche out.
LaRoche said the plan is for him to rest for five or six days and then start rehabbing the quad. He plans to stay with the team through the rest of this road trip. The hope is that he'll just need the 15 days off, and then will be good to return.
"It sucks not being able to go out there and battle with the guys," LaRoche said, "but the one thing I do feel pretty good about is I gave it every opportunity to try and go out and play through it and try and see if this thing would go away. The last couple days have proven that it's just not gonna happen. We gave it probably 10 days, and every time I go to make a move, it wouldn't get any better. So we'll take two weeks and try and get it right."
LaRoche is leading the Nats in batting average (.319) and on-base percentage (.421), and is tied for the team lead in home runs (five).
He'll join Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman on the DL.
"Nobody's gonna feel sorry for us," Williams said. "We've got to play. We've got to give ourselves opportunities like we did tonight, and continue to do that."