A continuing series in which I pose rhetorical questions to myself, attempt to answer them, and get accused of cherry-picking stats. So far: Nyjer Morgan and the trade, Garrett Jones, Zach Duke and Paul Maholm, and Andrew McCutchen.
Andy LaRoche went 5-for-5 yesterday with four extra base hits (two homers and two doubles) and six RBIs. Because he hit a bit in May and he's hit well in September even before today, it's not fair to say that this explosion was an entire season in the making, but it's certainly close. Even with his huge day, LaRoche's season line sits at .259/.333/.403/736. That should give him an OPS+ of 98, which would mean that after park adjustments and the like, he's officially been about league average in 2009.
We didn't acquire Andy LaRoche to be league average and I'm not arguing that we did, but I feel like people have been saying for two months now that LaRoche has more or less proven he can't hit and that it's time to give his playing time to someone else. I've never really been sold on that statement, so now that my foot's in the door with his huge day today, let's take some time to examine the younger LaRoche brother's performance and what it might portend for the future.