LaRoche receives a boost of confidence from homerun
Since losing his starting job to Pedro Alvarez in June, Andy LaRoche has been struggling as the pinch-hitter role. In his 34 pinch-hit at-bats LaRoche has only four hits.
During Friday’s game against the Astros, LaRoche finally ended his 0-for-21 skid with a home run, giving himself a boost on confidence.
“I feel bad for Andy,” manager John Russell said. “I know he’s a good player, but he never really got on track. Then Pedro came and put Andy on the bench. But I would still like I us to maximize Andy at some point. He is a good player. That was frustrating and discouraging for me because I know how hard the kid wants to play and how dedicated he is.”
LaRoche is spending his off-season playing winter ball, getting some much needed at-bats. He will be getting some playing time at shortstop (Andy can already play third, second and first base). If he does remain with the Pirates, his future with the organization is more likely as a utility infield option.