Chuck Finder reported today that Andy LaRoche has not keep up with a special exercise regimen, which likely contributed to the back problems he ran into this week. Here is the excerpt from the PBC Blog:
The younger LaRoche was diagnosed with a protruding disk in 2007 and spent much of the next two years doing an exercise regimen patterned strictly to alleviate and prevent further problems. He admitted that he got away from the exercises, though now — after battling spasms and taking anti-inflammatory medication late last week — he is returning to the regimen, he said. He plans to take batting-practice pitches from coaches Monday.
As you might imagine, fans have reacted angrily to the news. But I think this report is being misinterpreted. This does not sound like a situation in which LaRoche was just sitting around relaxing all winter. Here is what I concluded from reading this. LaRoche had a back injury in 2007. His doctors recommended an exercise regimen, which helped ease his discomfort. After being pain free for a certain period, he got away from doing those specific exercises. Now that he is having more pain, and has missed a few days of spring training, he intends to get back to focusing on those exercises. Of course, I have no evidence that this is the case. But I think jumping to the conclusion that he is not a hard worker is a bit unfair. For all we know, he diverted his focus from these special back exercises to spend more time in the cage. I have no idea. We are making too big a deal out of this revelation, just as we did when reports surfaced that Pedro Alvarez was not in great shape. It only took a few weeks for those worries to disappear. I would guess that the same will happen regarding this situation with LaRoche.