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01 Aug

Adam LaRoche

He’s baaaaaack! I don’t know if any Braves position player in the last nineteen years has suffered as much fan abuse as LaRoche. Maybe Blauser, over a longer period of time. There have been guys who were more hated, but they didn’t last long. LaRoche’s problems were twofold. First, he is, even when he is taking his ADD medication… I’ll say “laid-back”. Second, he isn’t Fred McGriff or Andres Galarraga. Of course, he looks a lot better when compared to Scott Thorman and Casey Kotchman.

Adam was a guy who rose through the system steadily, was never an elite prospect, but never really had a bad year. He had a tendency to need adjustment periods between levels. He’s a bit unusual, especially for someone who wasn’t a great prospect, in that he was given a starting job (actually, the lefthanded half of a platoon) straight out of spring training with no prior major league experience. He was pretty terrible when he started out in 2004, but played well in the second half. I thought it was the adjustment period again, but it turns out he’s just a second-half player.

Since being traded for Mike Gonzalez (after I’d already done a writeup — oh, I remember, Schuerholz) he did his thing in Pittsburgh for a couple of years. He didn’t play too well in 2007, basically back to his 2004-05 level. But he played better in 2008, almost as well as he did in 2006. This season, he’s slumped, but a lot of that appears to me to be luck, some batted balls that didn’t find holes. The Braves reacquired him in the hopes that he’d have another big second half for them.

He isn’t really interchangeable with Kotchman. He has more power, while Casey walks more and has a better glove. Adam throws better, but there’s not much more irrelevant than a first baseman’s throwing arm. Both are terribly slow.

Adam LaRoche Statistics and History – Baseball-Reference.com

This is the game thread, too.

91 Responses to “Adam LaRoche”

  1. 1
    Dan Says:

    Previous thread (posted exact instant seemingly this thread was):

    Dan, KJ was never good when it matters. He was usually great when there was little pressure like in early of the season or when we were out of the race.

    Again, that seems a tad unfair.

    Looking at Johnson’s 2008 numbers, his hot streak months were May and September.

    I know the team was well out of it in September, but they weren’t in May. Do May games not count the same in the standings?

    Why is it that any hitter’s good hitting only counts if the team is in contention (not out of it or running away with the division) and it has to be July-September too?

  2. 2
    RobBroad4th Says:

    Adam Laroche and his good buddy after duck hunting:

    http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/252/22442.jpg

  3. 3
    kc Says:

    @1 If baseball games are only played in May and September last year, then KJ would be a MVP candidate. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. What’s the good of him if he only shows up for two of the six months?

  4. 4
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I know nobody cares and it seems like bragging… but yesterday was the highest-traffic day in Braves Journal history, 7,703 hits. It capped the highest-traffic month, 143,090.

  5. 5
    Latnam Says:

    I know nobody cares and it seems like bragging… but yesterday was the highest-traffic day in Braves Journal history, 7,703 hits. It capped the highest-traffic month, 143,090.

    LaRoche Fever! Catch It!

  6. 6
    Remy Says:

    I wonder how many of those hits are from AJC sportswriters looking for stories?

  7. 7
    cliff Says:

    Let’s see if I got this right. Basically, the Marlins traded Jo Jo Reyes for Nick Johnson without a salary.

    Their “offensive bump” will be the difference between Nick Johnson and Bonifacio (250 to 300 OPS points).

    We traded Casey Kotchman for Adam LaRoche. We are still paying the same salary. We might get a little more slugging.

    Do you think the Nats (Kasten?) have it in for the Braves and traded that favorably in division to make sure we couldn’t climb over the Marlins (which their trade for Johnson certainly seems to do). If Wren wasn’t in on this, he really is misreading value.

    And, I am not sure that if Kotchman finished this year where he is that you non tender him. In arb he will get 5 million or so for 2010. You have a top prospect at AA who just got to that level. He might be ready in April, might want to hold him for June, or might be better for 2011 (depending on what happens).

    The only way this makes sense is if they want to move Chipper to first.

    And if you offer arb to LaRoche, then you pay 2 or 3 million more for next year to a 1B who everybody acknowledges is barely better than Kotchman, all things considered.

    Where are the thought and logic.

    The problem with this deal is not that LaRoche is so bad or that Kotchman is o.k. It is that it seems disconnected from what is going on with the team and, more importantly, a better upgrade was gotten by an in division foe for almost nothing.

  8. 8
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Is there a story today, “LaRoche trade produces confusion, apathy”?

  9. 9
    Robert Says:

    Let’s see if I got this right. Basically, the Marlins traded Jo Jo Reyes for Nick Johnson without a salary.

    The Marlins have like 20% of the budget of the Mets and Braves and have put together a better team than either. It shouldn’t surprise when they do something smart.

    I’m a fan of Baltimore. I lived there for three years and find it to be very underrated. What I really enjoyed was the convenience of being able to take a train to major cities nearby — DC, Philly, NYC.

    LA is driving distance from San Diego and Vegas (outstanding vacations spots), Big Bear and Mammoth (quality skiing resorts). I still think I win, but then again I struggle to understand why anyone would want to visit Philly or DC. As you say, to each his own.

  10. 10
    kc Says:

    Besides being cheap, what’s the value of Kotchman? The Braves can’t afford to have a first baseman who can not hit homerun unless we have a Chipper-Andruw-Sheffied-in-their-prime outfield. Kotchman is not even at league average for his position…may as well trade him away sooner rather than later.

  11. 11
    csg Says:

    hey at least RF isnt a problem anymore, since the Francouer trade our RF’s are 15 for 68 (.220 avg) with 1 HR

  12. 12
    billy-jay Says:

    meh.

  13. 13
    Smitty Says:

    Good stat CSG

    Frenchy is 19 for 66 (.288) with three home runs with the Mets.

  14. 14
    csg Says:

    and I still dont miss Francoeur

    meanwhile, the Rays signed Bennett

  15. 15
    Nathan Says:

    Somebody posted this to BBTF, so you will probably get a little jump in hits.

  16. 16
    barrycuda Says:

    back in about ’77 i traded a not-so-good ford truck to a friend for a not-so-good chevy truck………..no particular reason, we just did it………..the trade worked out ok for a couple weeks and then the trouble started. finally, i declared the chevy an intolerable painintheass and the ford caught itself on fire and died an ugly roadside death a few days later. thats about what i expect from this trade.

  17. 17
    Mac Thomason Says:

    That sounds more like the Francoeur-Church trade to me — two things that suck, but you can’t just throw away, so you find someone else who has something that sucks but he can’t just throw away, and you swap them. There’s no attachment, so you feel free to get rid of the new thing.

  18. 18
    Mike N. Says:

    I have a friend who sold his old 1986 Bonneville (we’re only 21, by the way) for a solid amount of money to one of his brother’s friends. 2 months later the engine essentially blew up and that girl was out 1500 or so dollars and didn’t have a car.

    I don’t think this can be compared to a trade, its just another car story.

  19. 19
    csg Says:

    #16 – at least the chevy had more power, too bad the ford came with leather

  20. 20
    Ron E. Says:

    The Braves wanted more homerun power and they wanted to get Kotchman off the roster so they would have the option of playing Prado or Freeman there next year. Hence the Kotchman-for-Laroche trade. Pretty straightforward. Laroche is sort of like Escobar. He’ll do a few things every year that make you scratch your head, but on the whole he is a pretty solid player. Wren probably could have gotten Adrian Gonzalez instead but he didn’t want to endure the tidal wave of crying from people who haven’t looked at how mediocre the players traded for Teixeira have been in the majors.

  21. 21
    Landogarner Says:

    Awesome, we got Huckleberry Hound back….

    That’s our big trade deadline move? Really?

  22. 22
    Mac Thomason Says:

    We were hoping you’d be back for this one, Lando.

  23. 23
    csg Says:

    no Lando, the big trade was getting rid of Francouer

  24. 24
    J Leeds (oi!) Says:

    Wren probably could have gotten Adrian Gonzalez instead

    I don’t thing Adrian Gonzalez would have been available for Casey Kotchman. I’m sure he would have been available for the right offer, but “the right offer” would have been more than we gave up for Teixeira. He’s an all-star player, making less than $1 million (and thus affordable, even to the Padres – no salary dump), and under team control for a couple more years. Why would the Padres trade him for anything less than a boatload of cheap talent?

    Every team asked after him, it sounds like. And yet, he wasn’t traded.

  25. 25
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Yeah, but we could have gotten Nick Johnson.

  26. 26
    csg Says:

    McLouth
    Prado
    Chipper
    GA
    Diaz
    LaRoche
    Ross
    Diory
    P

  27. 27
    Landogarner Says:

    Never left, just haven’t had much to say. And I’ve been distracted by my Timberwolves, lots of things going on with them.

    Seriously though why would we want Huck back? I guess I can live with it if we aren’t planning on keeping him next year but if he starts the first half next season…

  28. 28
    PWHjort Says:

    Everyone can breathe now. ACHE back in his namesake role.

  29. 29
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Mac,

    I’m not sure how much better Laroche is than Kotchman. How much better do you think he is?

  30. 30
    Frank Says:

    @4–good as long as some of the blockheads from DOB’s blog don’t migrate over here

  31. 31
    csg Says:

    DOB has some of the worst posters and comments that Ive ever seen. I scroll from time to time to look for some updates. Like this one, Carroll has Laroche 5th and Diaz 6th in the lineup today

  32. 32
    Mac Thomason Says:

    I think he’s moderately better. It’s the difference between a C and a C+. Neither of them gets you into Harvard, or the playoffs.

  33. 33
    Tiger224 Says:

    Why does it take two reporters to follow a team and post a blog for, what, 6 months out of the year?

    Any idea what Carroll or DOB make?

  34. 34
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Considering the comments they have to wade through, they deserve a million skillion dollars.

  35. 35
    ASR Says:

    Tiger224-

    If there were only one writer, they would have to get one day off every two weeks like the team does. Except they don’t get paid $2 million a year to do that.

  36. 36
    csg Says:

    well Norton survived, Barbaro back to AAA. What about Chris Burke? He cant be worse than Diory can he?

  37. 37
    nomorespinsports Says:

    Maybe Burke hasn’t been called up because of the number of options he has left. Maybe Diory has more options left?

  38. 38
    Catz Says:

    I can’t think about Adam Laroche without thinking about that Nick Johnson play back in 2006 or whenever that was.

  39. 39
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Options are a yearly thing — you can send Diory up and down all you want within a year, it’s just one option. If you call up Burke and want to send him back down, he would have to go through waivers.

  40. 40
    barrycuda Says:

    csg#19……the ford in question was a 1971 model. that was back when the only people driving trucks were people who needed them. i’m pretty sure leather seats weren’t an option.

  41. 41
    Daniel Says:

    Braves.com says today’s game is nationally broadcast on FOX… I see Yankees… wonderful

  42. 42
    Nick Says:

    More good umpiring, hooray… At least that umpire seemed to be willing to admit he might have made a mistake.

  43. 43
    bonitis Says:

    looks like lowe has a great slider today. maybe well get another good start from him. not that it matters with randy “koufax” wolf on the mound.

    would a non-handicapped left fielder have gotten that matt kemp “hit”?

  44. 44
    csg Says:

    #40 – I was comparing Laroche and Kotchman to the trucks there. I used the leather reference to talk about his glove at 1st

  45. 45
    Mac Thomason Says:

    That just wasn’t a strike. It was caught a strike, but it didn’t cross the plate. Nice job with the freeze-frame by Fox to insinuate that it was a strike, though.

  46. 46
    Marc Says:

    Terrible luck right there.

  47. 47
    Mike Says:

    Place your bets! How many of you think we get out of this inning with no runs?

  48. 48
    Tre Says:

    tied it up atleast

  49. 49
    Mike Says:

    This game is looking representative of the Braves’ season so far… lots of wasted opportunities.

    Thank goodness Chipper managed to tie it. Too bad Ethier just un-tied it.

  50. 50
    Tony Says:

    Another Braves killer….Andre Eithier

  51. 51
    Coach (2010 or bust) Says:

    Personally, I think the LaRoche/Kotchman trade is a potential contract dump. As in LaRoche is about to be a free agent. either he gets resigned or the Braves will receive draft picks in return.

    It has as much to do with payroll as the roster and offense.

    The other telling thing about the trade is that it is getting almost no play nationally. Nobody outside Braves nation cares which is rather embarrassing.

    In fact, I just happened to be watching the ML baseball channel when the trade went down and those guys were just ridiculing the trade due to the whole LaRoche to Texiera to kotchman back to laRoche angle.

  52. 52
    Mike Says:

    Tony, I’m starting to lose track of all the Braves killers around MLB.

  53. 53
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Coach, Kotchman wasn’t under contract for 2010. He was in his arb years, but the Braves could always nontender him.

  54. 54
    Frank Says:

    Pee Wee and I have planned to go to Tuesday’s game in Rome and the local fishwrap is now reporting that Infante will be here playing a rehab game that night. Would rather have Hudson.

  55. 55
    Tony Says:

    Right field has been a complete disaster for Atlanta….from Frency to this Diaz/Church platoon.

  56. 56
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Why couldn’t it have been Hohn?

  57. 57
    Mike Says:

    So if God smiles on us and Diory reaches, Norton will bat for Lowe.

  58. 58
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Diory?

  59. 59
    Mike Says:

    Mac, I thought the same thing!

  60. 60
    Mike N. Says:

    NO F’N WAY

  61. 61
    Mac Thomason Says:

    It’s the Bizarro Braves! Norton am good!

  62. 62
    Brian J. Says:

    Consecutive RBI singles by Diory and Emperor Norton. When did this game move to the Twilight Zone?

  63. 63
    Mike Says:

    WOW! Hits from Diory AND Norton with men on! Do you believe it?!?!?

  64. 64
    Tony Says:

    Holy shit….

  65. 65
    Bandit31312 Says:

    what is going on? norton has a hit 2 days in a row?

  66. 66
    Dan Says:

    Savor that. You’ll probably never see Diory and Norton be useful back-to-back again.

  67. 67
    Frank Says:

    signs of the apocalypse–back to back hits by Diory and Norton on consecutive days

  68. 68
    hpotter Says:

    Gameday says Diory and Norton got hits. But it’s not April 1

  69. 69
    Tony Says:

    Well someone had to step up….

  70. 70
    Mike Says:

    On the subject of the LaRoche trade, I don’t mind it. I wasn’t that big a fan of Kotchman in the first place. Adam’s looking good today, reaching all three times so far.

    Snitker almost got him rung up though… the throw was up the line and in time, the catcher didn’t handle it though.

  71. 71
    Douglass Says:

    Andruw would’ve had that one.

  72. 72
    Mike Says:

    Short leash for Moylan… who’s coming in?

  73. 73
    Mike Says:

    I thought Eric had a K there… but a nice double-play to end the inning!

  74. 74
    Douglass Says:

    Nice!

  75. 75
    Brian J. Says:

    Well done, Nate! Well, well done!

  76. 76
    Smitty Says:

    Was that a terrible base running by the O-Dog or what?

  77. 77
    denny lemaster Says:

    I saw no signal from $nitker for Diory
    Or LaRoach. WTF? Did LaRoach run thru a
    ss. He was out by 10 feet w/o e9

  78. 78
    Daniel Says:

    How about we let Norton start and finish his Braves career with a pitch-hit RBI? Now is the time to release him!

  79. 79
    drewdat Says:

    Norton was on deck, running through the sign was the right call.

    Heck, attempting to steal third and home would have been OK since Diory was at the plate.

  80. 80
    Brian J. Says:

    Alright! Now let’s win this series tomorrow!

  81. 81
    Tre Says:

    win tomorrow then we get the pads!!!!

  82. 82
    PWHjort Says:

    Mac’s internet down?

  83. 83
    oldtimer? Says:

    I didn’t get to see the game, how was Lowe?

  84. 84
    csg Says:

    i think Lowe has 25 strikes in his first 30 pitches or something like that, then Jo Jo or Bennett must have called with some advice

  85. 85
    sdp Says:

    Griffey Jr. 14 2B, 10 HR, 30 RBI, 44 BB, 46 SO, .216/.326/.383, 90 OPS+
    ACHE 19 2B, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 17 BB, 42 SO, .297/.330/.459, 108 OPS+

    So, I think we won this move.

  86. 86
    Bethany Says:

    Got to be at the game tonight, it was great to see a good return by LaRoche and WOW, that play that Nate made was amazing… I didn’t think he had a shot.

  87. 87
    ugalaw Says:

    Anyone I’ve ever known who met Braves players in the ’90s recalled Blauser as a first-class douche.

  88. 88
    sdp Says:

    Dale Murphy is a Mormon. I’ve heard stories about things Blauser would do to Murphy that were strictly against his religion. I don’t care who you are, that’s some major douchebaggery.

  89. 89
    billy-jay Says:

    @87:

    What?

    I mean, I’m not asking what, I’m just scratching my head…

  90. 90
    Mac Thomason Says:

    Recap is up. Yes, my Internet went down.

  91. 91
    td Says:

    Mac,
    One slight correction on your writeup of LaRoche. You said that Kotchman walks more. LaRoche has actually walked at a slightly higher rate this year (42/346 compared to 32/298) and Laroche’s career walk rate is a little higher than Kotchman.

    I’m actually not too worked up about this deal one way or the other. The Braves are expecting a slightly more productive second half from Laroche than they would have gotten from Kotchman. The only odd thing is the extra year of contract that Kotchman has. Apparently they have a plan for next year – we’ll see.

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