Washington Nationals fans dreaming of a scenario where the team signs Prince Fielder to be its first baseman won't be happy to hear what general manager Mike Rizzo said on Wednesday. In an interview on MLB Network Radio, Rizzo said that incumbent Adam LaRoche will start at first base barring something "extraordinary" happening. Via MLB Trade Rumors:
Adam LaRoche is under contract for us, we're paying him a lot of money to play first base for us next year. We feel that he's going to have a bounceback season. We just want him to have his career norms: .265, 25, 85-100 RBIs and play great defense. We feel that his shoulder is rehabbed, he's 100%, and talking to him just recently he feels great and he's ready to contribute to us in 2012. As far as, are we going to dabble our toe in that water? Those are decisions that we make early on in the process and we've more or less decided that Adam is going to be our first baseman unless something extraordinary, out of the ordinary happened, that's how we're going to go to Spring Training.
LaRoche struggled for the Nationals last year before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. The team signed him to a two-year contract prior to the 2011 season.