The A's, in need of as much bullpen help as possible following Saturday's five-plus hour game vs. the Red Sox, elected to designate infielder Andy LaRoche for assignment on Sunday morning when they reinstated right-hander Grant Balfour from the paternity leave list.
"Obviously there were a lot of things that I could have done better," he said, "but I was happy with the opportunity to get to play all of the positions. I got a lot more playing time than I was expecting. Now I'll just see if another team out there needs me.
"I would obviously prefer to be in the big leagues, and if that's not here, hopefully it's with another team. If there's not that need, then I'll probably be in [Triple-A] Sacramento."
Baseball America ranked LaRoche as one of the game's 40 best prospects in 2006.
LaRoche now has 1,332 plate appearances in the majors, and a .226/.305/.337 career line.
That's obviously not good enough, even for a guy who can play all four infield positions.
When LaRoche was in Class AAA, I thought he was going to become a star. When he struggled with the Dodgers, I thought they were too quick to give up on him. When the Pirates got him, I thought he might become a star. Now it's obvious that he'll never be a star, and probably won't again be an every-day player. I'll still probably go to my grave believing LaRoche would have been a good player, if he'd been better-handled or healthier.
The numbers are what they are, though. I wish LaRoche the best of luck, and I'm glad he doesn't seem too beaten down yet, emotionally.