Adam LaRoche homers, says his shoulder is feeling better

VIERA, Fla. - Adam LaRoche, who hit his first homer of the spring in the fourth inning today, also played first base for the first time since getting a cortisone shot last week. He said the shot “did exactly what we wanted it to,” and though his left shoulder - which has a slight labral tear - is only about 50 percent, LaRoche said he’s fine playing the season with it at that level.

“I’ve never had a shot, so I don’t have a lot of history with how it’s going to react,” LaRoche said. “It’s annoying, because I like to be able to throw a little bit if I need to, but it’s good enough to go.”

Team trainers have put LaRoche on a set of shoulder and back exercises, and he’s hoping to be able to move forward just by strengthening his shoulder and the other muscles in his throwing mechanism, rather than having surgery after the season. Doctors have told him he wouldn’t need surgery unless the injury got extremely painful.

“I’m really not worried about it at all, because from what I’ve been told by guys that have had it, it doesn’t necessarily get worse unless you go out and do something really stupid - throw 300 pounds on the bench or something like that,” LaRoche said. “I’ve got to be cautious with it.”

While I was down in the clubhouse talking to LaRoche, Drew Storen got rocked in the seventh inning, allowing four runs on seven hits while recording just two outs. It doesn’t mean much that he was pitching the seventh, but like Jordan Zimmermann, he didn’t end his spring on a great note.

And one more point of clarification: I’ve been seeing a lot of misspelling of LaRoche’s last name in the comments section - some of you are writing it as ‘LaRoach.” It’s not like a cockroach; it’s like the French word for rock. Literally translated, his name is Adam the Rock.

While we’re at it, it’s N-y-j-e-r, not N-y-g-e-r. Class dismissed for the day.