Andy LaRoche: Backup shortstop?


As reported by Jen L. , LaRoche is seeing time at all four infield positions in winter ball this year. The same story included an interesting quote by Huntington on the subject and how LaRoche's play at short may determine his ability to keep his roster spot:

"I don't want to say it's make-or-break for Andy, but this offseason is very important for him as we go through the evaluation process. There is still ability in there, and he has a willingness to bounce around and play second and short. Can he be serviceable there? Can he be a middle utility guy? Can he be that bat off the bench? Those are questions that we have to answer, compared to the internal and external options this offseason."

Emphasis mine. That sentiment reminds me of the remarks made about Brandon Moss as a CF option last winter. When Moss was unable to beat out John Raynor in spring training, he lost his grip on his roster spot. Will LaRoche's chances for 2011 hinge on a similar competition with Diaz and Ciriaco next March? His hitting in winter ball doesn't inspire much confidence in him earning a slot with the bat, so it may come down to a duel with gloves at sunrise.

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