One of the quietest leaders in baseball is the Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche. Recently it was learned that due to medication he was taking for attention deficit disorder (ADD), it was causing him both loss of strength and weight all season long.
As expected, LaRoche, one of the leaders in the clubhouse, has not used his medication as an excuse for his drastic loss of weight and power. He has not once asked manager Davey Johnson to keep him out of the lineup which is honorable, but was not wise for either LaRoche or the team.
The Nationals should have pulled LaRoche out of the lineup and sent him to their team doctors to see how best to regulate his medication. While LaRoche has not used this as an excuse, it had to be a reason why his numbers are down this year. He is hitting .234 with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs.
Last season LaRoche was a force both in the field with his defense as well as with his bat, hitting .271 with 100 RBIs.
LaRoche won both a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award, and was a key reason why the Nationals won 98 games and the NL East Division Title. So it was expected that he would be a key to leading the Nationals to another trip to the postseason in 2013 and beyond. He was their No. 1 offseason free agent target, and even Johnson talked to LaRoche about how important it was that he return to help the team make it back to the postseason.
Alas, the Nationals will not be in the playoffs this season, and it’s due in large part to LaRoche’s lack of production. In the offseason the Nationals and LaRoche need to address his medication issues. Not only for his ability to be more productive in 2014, but to help him feel good on and off the field.