Welcome to the LaRoche Era

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Breaking news out of Pittsburgh is that Adam LaRoche may very well soon be joining the Boston Red Sox as Boston once again makes a trade deadline move with Pittsburgh (LaRoche is their current RBI and HR leader).  He is, however, mired in a slump with his average dipping to .247.  He is by all accounts an excellent defensive first baseman (which we already have, so an embarrassment of riches there), and was acquired presumably as insurance against Lowell struggling or going down.

This is the type of move I expected, as just watching Mike Lowell play the field or bat is a wince-and-hobble fest on a good day.  So far Lowell has fared reasonably well at the plate (.289/.329/.471), but every at bat and every fielding chance he looks as if he’s in pain.  An extended stint on the DL before the end of the season seems a virtual certainty.  One of the only criticisms I have thus far this season of Demarlo Hale comes following his decision to try to score Lowell from first this past weekend. So much the worse that he was out by a country mile.

If nothing else, this proves to me once again how valuable Youkilis is to this team.  I have zero concerns about his ability to shift to the other side of the diamond and play a solid third base.  We’re lucky to have him.  The biggest downside to this is that a guy I really like, Mark Kotsay, may be on the outside looking in.

So what do you think of this move?  Will LaRoche be able to rebound and contribute to the post-season run?  He will almost certainly be needed.