VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche played in his first game of the spring -- a Minor League intrasquad contest on Wednesday -- and he went hitless in four at-bats, but had two walks.
LaRoche acknowledged that his timing was off at the plate. He didn't hit any line drives, just weak groundballs.
"The timing is not there. That is every spring," LaRoche said. "It takes me a few games, and once you get it, it's nice -- there it is. It takes me a little bit."
While his shoulder is not bothering him, LaRoche could not run the bases because his left foot is still sore, leaving questions about whether he will play his first Grapefruit League game on Saturday against the Mets. LaRoche was hoping to play his first game Wednesday against the Cardinals, but manager Davey Johnson decided to give him a few more days.
"It was good to see some live pitching finally. Hopefully I don't miss much time," LaRoche said. "I was hoping I could play today, but the foot is not doing what it needs to do. But if I can see five or six at-bats, as long as I'm seeing live pitching, I'll be fine. ... I'm getting there."