View Full Version : Andy LaRoche entering 2009 season with renewed confidence

02-07-2009, 01:05 AM
In many ways, the end of the 2008 season could not come quickly enough for LaRoche. After having worked with hitting coach Don Long this winter, LaRoche said that he will arrive at Spring Training with a renewed sense of confidence and a belief that he is capable of performing in an everyday role.

"I just needed to stay within myself," LaRoche said, reflecting on his late season struggles. "I just wasn't doing what had gotten me to that point. I was trying to get the ball too soon. It was [a] feeling I just couldn't get past."

LaRoche flew out to Long's home in Washington earlier this winter to spend some time with the hitting coach. The 25-year-old infielder came away having made some slight adjustments in his batting stance after the two spent time dissecting film and getting back to the basics.

"Probably the best thing that came out if was that time had passed since he had played, so a lot of the emotion was out of it," Long said of LaRoche's visit. "We could sit down and analyze what happened and why it happened and then move on. He was able to learn from it in an environment that wasn't emotional."

Most of the adjustments made were in LaRoche's preparation at the plate. Long's goal during the visit was to make sure LaRoche put himself in a position to make better pitch selection and, therefore, better contact. That meant getting LaRoche to focus on minimizing his head movement during his swing.


We need this guy to come up big for us this season. His bat in the lineup is extremely important. Still a young guy, but I was a bit disappointed with the way he played for us after the trade.

02-14-2009, 12:11 AM
Better hope he's not taking too much advice from big brother about how to get off on the right foot to start a season...........

02-16-2009, 11:52 PM
He was a Top 5 Prospect in the Dodgers organization even up to last year. He has what it takes to be a solid, everyday starter for us. I think he'll play pretty well and hold down the hot corner. Hopefully we'll get lucky this year and one of our risks will turn out to be awesome and really help us right this ship.