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 Post subject: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:29 pm 
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Is Andy LaRoche still injured? I can't believe he's this bad unless his thumb is still bothering him. On the other hand, Brandon Moss is looking better.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:45 pm 
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I dont know if he's still hurt or not...big brother thinks its him pressing too hard to fit in and get adjusted to the new surroundings...

Moss crushed that ball tonight...He might be a very nice addition to this club...another lefty bat with some pop...There might be alot of dents in the Clemente Wall in the next few seasons and a barrier reef made of baseballs in the river...

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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:23 am 
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I dont know if he's still hurt or not...big brother thinks its him pressing too hard to fit in and get adjusted to the new surroundings...


That is what I think. He probably wants so badly to show the PBC that they made the right deal.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am 
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These two young guys need some serious time and experience. They are really both in the bigs before their time. The pains they are experiencing are growing pains. You know they may never develop but most people think that they will become nice major league players, one with left hand power and the other for average.

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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:17 pm 
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I'm sure Andy is a better player than what he has shown so far but right now he looks like a AAA guy. Just another prospect, but we need all we can get of those.

Maybe in September we see some Neil Walker at third. He has been hitting the ball better and is up to .241.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 12:20 pm 
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You'll have to excuse me if I don't get alarmed at what LaRoche has done in fewer than 70 plate appearances.

In my view, LaRoche's struggles are a result of some really bad luck. His BABIP is an abnormally low .120 while with the Pirates, and a still low .160 on the year. He's still walking just as much as he strikes out (a very good sign) and he has the ability to hit the ball with authority (minor league career slugging percentage = .517). I don't know if he will be a serious power threat in the future, but I expect him to be an on-base machine that's worthy of playing the most demanding corner position on the field. LaRoche's problem is that his batted balls are just not falling in for hits, and I don't think he has a whole lot of control over that.

LaRoche should play out the string at the hot corner. We're not competing for anything at this point, and it's the best way for him to become the player he's projected to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:01 pm 
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Andy has been making solid contact, but he seems to be hitting them to all the wrong places as evidenced by his .120 BABIP.

No worries.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:04 pm 
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All that said, yes, I think the thumb is still an issue. All the other things stated are true as well, IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:35 pm 
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I can believe that bad luck is a factor, but when you're hitting .129, you obviously are not hitting the ball very well.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:00 pm 
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I can see it both ways....70 ABs is small enough a sample size that his slow start with the Pirates can absolutely be written off to bad luck.

On the other hand, even the sabermaticians caution against concluding too much from BABIP. If he's hitting solid liners straight at people, then I'm not worried. If he's hitting weak popups and grounders, then I'm inclined to be more concerned. I haven't seen him enough to say which is the case. I'd like to hear from anyone who has.

Bottom line, the story with him is the same as it was with the Nady and Bay trades in general -- wait and see.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:44 pm 
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Maybe Andy has his slump at the end of the year... which offsets his brother :D


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:23 pm 
I was quite excited when the Pirates got him, but I must admit I also am not impressed thus far. At least the team has options at 3rd.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:44 pm 
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Elmer wrote:
I was quite excited when the Pirates got him, but I must admit I also am not impressed thus far. At least the team has options at 3rd.


Crikey! Give the man a chance.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:24 pm 
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agreed. we can't write him off too soon. players have ups and downs, he'll adjust eventually. i see a player with good plate discipline who walks and can drive the ball. it'll all come together once he gets adjusted.


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:15 am 
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He looks like a player the Dodgers tried to find someone, anyone, to replace.

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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:51 am 
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Just give the kid some time... Bautista didn't want the job, Walker isn't ready, and Alvarez doesn't feel like coming to work. Does it hurt to let the kid gain some experience on an everyday basis?


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:34 am 
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I said nothing about pulling the kid out, or replacing him. It is merely an observation of his play.

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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:00 pm 
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It is a fair observation that Andy LaRoche has performed consistently with what some scouts have projected; namely, a player who has marked limitations at the plate and who will struggle mightily against #1 or #2 pitchers and who will do just OK against lesser talent.

IMO, you have to keep running him out there through the rest of the year (and I don't see anyone suggesting otherwise) to give him a chance to prove himself. No doubt about it. He may be pressing right now. He may just be having bad luck. Who knows? But he needs some time to prove what he can or cannot do. That extends into next year as well.

However, it would not shock me if Andy LaRoche ultimately fails to be a better player than Bautista.

As of right now, I do not have high expectations for either him or Steve Pearce. In fact, I'll be surprised if either Andy LaRoche or Steve Pearce is a significant contributor to the next time that the Bucs cross the .500 threshold. I hope I'm wrong but that's my thought right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:14 pm 
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Willton wrote:
In my view, LaRoche's struggles are a result of some really bad luck. His BABIP is an abnormally low .120 while with the Pirates, and a still low .160 on the year. He's still walking just as much as he strikes out (a very good sign) and he has the ability to hit the ball with authority (minor league career slugging percentage = .517).


Valid points, all.

Laroche is very selective and has a good eye. In my experience, players like this are hurt by their selectivity when young, since umpires give more pitches to vet pitchers than they do to a young, unknown hitter.

I have seen Laroche called out on a called strike 3 on several occasions where the pitch was just not a strike - 3" outside, one off the inside corner. He is getting screwed on some of these calls. (I can recall twice where he was K'ed looking on a 3-2 pitch that should have been called ball four.)


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 Post subject: Re: Andy LaRoche
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:52 pm 
Argentum wrote:
Elmer wrote:
I was quite excited when the Pirates got him, but I must admit I also am not impressed thus far. At least the team has options at 3rd.


Crikey! Give the man a chance.


Totally man. I'm willing to give him a big chance, as he has a nice pedigree. I'm merely saying I don't like what I've seen so far ... I'm not saying he should be benched or anything. I still think he was a great pick up.


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