Andy LaRoche

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Andy LaRoche
IMG 7010 Andy LaRoche.jpg
LaRoche with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010.
Toronto Blue Jays
Third baseman
Born: (1983-09-13) September 13, 1983 (age 31)
Fort Scott, Kansas
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 6, 2007 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Batting average .226
Hits 267
Home runs 22
Runs batted in 113
Teams
Andy LaRoche
Medal record
Men's baseball
Competitor for  United States
Baseball World Cup
Gold 2007 Tianmu National team

Andrew Christian LaRoche (born September 13, 1983) is an American professional baseball third baseman.

LaRoche is the son of Dave LaRoche, a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the California Angels, and brother of current Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche.

College and draft[edit]

LaRoche played shortstop for Grayson County College(he also played for the Keene Swamp Bats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League) and became the top position-player prospect in the Cape Cod League. He had been originally a catcher but was injured and told to go to a different position because of that. He was originally drafted in the 21st round by the San Diego Padres in 2002, but he turned down an offer estimated at $200,000 and remained in school for another year before re-entering the draft the following year. Despite breaking a bone in his left leg in a collision while playing first base, his stock soared and scouts projected him as a first rounder.

But teams were concerned about their ability to sign him because he had turned down the Padres offer and was planning on transferring to Rice University.

Nevertheless he was drafted in the 39th round of the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, but still got supplemental money when the Dodgers signed him in August 2003. At the time, his bonus was the highest for a "non draft and follow" outside the first three rounds.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

Concern about his range caused the Dodgers to move him from shortstop to third base prior to sending him to their rookie league team the Ogden Raptors for the last few games of the 2003 season.[1]

He started the 2004 season with the Dodgers Single-A team in Columbus, hitting .283 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI before being promoted to the higher Single-A team in Vero Beach where he struggled a bit, hitting only .237 with 10 HRs and 34 RBI.

In 2005, at Vero Beach, he hit .333 with 21 HRs and 51 RBI and received a call-up to the Double-A Jacksonville Suns. At Jacksonville, he hit .273 with 9 HRs and 43 RBI. He was voted the Dodgers Minor League Player of the Year.[2]

For the 2006 minor league season, he started at Jacksonville and hit .309 with 9 HRs and 46 RBI, gaining a call-up to the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s where he hit .322 with 10 HRs and 35 RBI.

LaRoche during his tenure with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007 spring training.

During LaRoche's second big league spring training in 2007, he noted that his last name should be spelled "La Roche" with a defined space. However, as reported by Steve Henson of the Los Angeles Times, he decided to revert to the previous spelling by the end of camp.

LaRoche made his major league debut on May 6, 2007, against the Atlanta Braves. He recorded his first major league hit (ground rule double) against Kyle Davies.

On May 7, 2007, LaRoche scored his first two RBI against the Florida Marlins. After being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, LaRoche was recalled September 1. LaRoche received a lot of playing time down the stretch of the season due to Nomar Garciaparra's injury problems. LaRoche played for Team USA during the off-season in the 2007 Baseball World Cup.

On September 20, 2007, LaRoche hit his first major league home run off Colorado Rockies pitcher Matt Herges.[3]

On March 7, 2008, while playing a spring training exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals, LaRoche tore the ulnar collateral ligament off the base of his right thumb during a freak accident. He was attempting to catch a pickoff throw from Dodgers catcher Danny Ardoin that deflected off St. Louis base runner D'Angelo Jiménez and struck him on his throwing hand. LaRoche was placed on the disabled list. Surgery involved the use of an anchor suture to reconnect the ligament and part of the metacarpal bone that chipped off.

LaRoche was injured in the fifth inning after taking over third base duties for Nomar Garciaparra, who was injured an inning earlier when he was struck on the right wrist with a pitch from Kyle McClellan. At the time, LaRoche and Garciaparra were in competition for the starting third base job. Neither player could begin the season, and minor league rookie Blake DeWitt assumed third base duties on opening day, 2008.[4]

On May 3, 2008, after completing a ten game rehab assignment with the Double-A Jacksonville Suns and the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s, LaRoche was reinstated from the disabled list and optioned to the Dodgers Triple-A club. This move was seen as an endorsement by Dodgers management for rookie Blake DeWitt, who had played well enough to keep his starting role while LaRoche was on the disabled list.

LaRoche was recalled from Las Vegas on June 10 and made his 2008 debut the next day at first base. He hit a home run against Padres starter Randy Wolf in the fourth inning.

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

On July 31, 2008, LaRoche was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with pitcher Bryan Morris in part of a three team deal that sent Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Jason Bay to the Boston Red Sox. He joined his brother Adam in Pittsburgh.[5] After hitting .144 while with the Pirates LaRoche was given an "intensive offseason workout regimen" throughout the off-season.[6][7]

His reunion with brother Adam ended on July 22, 2009, when the Pirates traded Adam to the Boston Red Sox for minor league pitcher Hunter Strickland and shortstop Argenis Díaz.[8] Nine days later, Adam was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Casey Kotchman.[9] On November 20, 2010 Andy was designated for assignment in a move that made him a free agent.

Oakland Athletics[edit]

On January 24, 2011 LaRoche signed a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics with an invite to major league camp. He made the opening day roster, appearing in 40 games before being designated for assignment on June 5.[10] He was assigned to the Athletics' Triple-A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats. On August 18, 2011, in a tied extra-inning game against the Omaha Storm Chasers, he pitched the 13th inning, and was awarded the win. After the 2011 season, he elected for free agency.[11]

Cleveland Indians[edit]

On December 21, 2011, LaRoche signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians. He also received an invitation to spring training.[12] LaRoche was released by the Indians organization on June 26, 2012.

Boston Red Sox[edit]

On June 28, 2012, LaRoche signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox. He played with the Pawtucket Red Sox for the rest of the season, appearing in 50 games.[13] At the end of the season, he became an unrestricted free agent.

Toronto Blue Jays[edit]

On January 30, 2013, LaRoche signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays with an invite to spring training.[14] LaRoche started the season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, and was called up on June 7 as a potential fill in at third base for the injured Brett Lawrie after Anthony Gose was sent to Triple-A Buffalo.[15][16] LaRoche was designated for assignment following a 10-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox. He played just one game for the Blue Jays, going 0-4. After clearing waivers, he was assigned outright to Buffalo on June 13. He became a free agent on October 1. LaRoche signed a minor league contract with the Jays for the 2014 season.

Awards and honors[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]