The Cleveland Indians have rounded out their need for infield depth by signing Andy LaRoche to a minor league deal that includes a spring training invite. The former Fort Scott native was once a hyped prospect within the Los Angeles Dodgers system but has failed to capitalize on that with the Dodgers or Pirates in recent years. Now at 28, LaRoche hopes to find his form in the American League with the Indians.
LaRoche had another frustrating year in 2011 with Oakland, batting only .247 with absolutely no power to speak of (a miserable .333 slugging percentage) in 40 games with the Athletics. The good news for the Indians is that LaRoche has experience at every position around the diamond except for catcher and he could become handy in that regard. That said, it’s also clear the move is a low-risk venture for the Indians, so there’s no reason not to try it.
LaRoche’s best year came with Pittsburgh in 2009 when he played in 150 games and had 12 home runs and 64 RBI with a .258 batting average.