OAKLAND - Get ready for a remarkable piece of information.
Even though we’re just 35 games into the 2014 season, five of the Nationals’ starting opening day position players have already landed on the disabled list.
That’s five of the eight. And that doesn’t even include fourth starter Doug Fister, who missed six weeks on the DL, and reserve outfielder Scott Hairston, who also missed time while on the disabled list.
The Nats have certainly had to deal with their share of adversity early on this season. Manager Matt Williams is right in saying that no one is going to feel sorry for the Nationals and that they have to find a way to battle through this stretch, but man, this sure can’t be easy.
With LaRoche now going down for at least 15 days with a strained right quad, the Nats will be without their most consistent hitter to begin the season.
LaRoche has gotten off to a red-hot start, which isn’t exactly normal for a guy who typically struggles early on and needs to ease into his season.
As I noted last night, LaRoche leads the Nats in batting average, on-base percentage and is tied for the team lead in homers, all while dealing with this bum quad for the last couple of weeks. He’s saved a number of errors for his fellow infielders over at first base and has been a stable presence in the cleanup spot.
Now, the Nats will lose a middle-of-the-order bat and have to replace it with what will likely be a mix of Tyler Moore and Kevin Frandsen.
Zimmerman is still at least a couple weeks away from returning. Harper could be out another six weeks or so.
Now LaRoche has been lost for at least two weeks, as well, forcing the Nats to try and stay afloat and hang near the Braves and Marlins, who are currently a game and a half and a game above the Nats in the standings, respectively.
Update: The Nats have officially called up Moore from Triple-A Syracuse to take LaRoche’s spot on the 25-man roster.
In 18 games with the Nationals this season, Moore is hitting .200 (6-for-30) with a double, two home runs, three RBIs, three walks and four runs scored.