Andy LaRoche Is Benched Already
For a while, it seemed to be working. In spring training, he hit.333/.453/.471 with a pair of homers. Spring training stats are rarely predictive, but for a guy that seemed completely clueless at the plate last fall, it was the exact sort of camp that Pirate fans had hoped for. His swing looked good, his injured thumb seemed to be healed and it was looking like maybe this year would be different.
And who knows, maybe this year will be different for LaRoche. But in two games, he's 0-for-6 and he's only reached base once. On top of that, he's already made three errors in two games at third base and those errors have lead to three runs for the Cardinals.
As a result, he's finding himself on the bench tonight just two games in to the season.
Manager John Russell says this isn't a long-term thing and he's just giving LaRoche a night to pull himself together. That's certainly the right approach here, but it's pretty striking how similar LaRoche has looked in these first two games to the way he looked when he flailed in his Pirate debut last year. Two games isn't enough to make any kind of judgment, but the younger LaRoche brother certainly isn't doing anything to inspire hope in the Pirates or their fans so far in this very young season.