CINCINNATI -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson decided not to start first baseman Adam LaRoche on Saturday against the Reds. LaRoche has been experiencing back tightness since Wednesday against the Marlins. It didn't help that LaRoche was dealing with the cold weather that day. Johnson started Chad Tracy instead.
There is a possibility LaRoche may not play on Sunday afternoon, too. If he doesn't play, he will also have the off-day on Monday and look to return to action against the White Sox the next day. LaRoche is using ice, plus anti-inflammatory, muscle-relaxing-type medication to get rid of his back pain.
"I'm trying to get ahead of it a little bit," LaRoche said.
Asked on Saturday how he was doing, LaRoche said, "It's not great. I hope it's a weather thing, the cold weather. I tweaked something in there. Luckily, nobody thinks it's anything other than muscle. It's just a muscle that gripped and won't let go. It's knotted up in there. We are just doing everything we can to get it to release itself."
LaRoche is 0-for-13 to start the season, and he said he hasn't been able to swing the bat freely lately because of the injury.
"As soon as I can swing freely, even if there is still some pain there, I'm fine with that," LaRoche said.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.