Andy LaRoche is officially healthy after suffering a torn thumb ligament on March 7. In order to get him consistent playing time, he was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday.
It's really not much of a surprise when you think about it. Blake DeWitt has shown he can handle the rigors of the Majors (for now at least) and Russell Martin is filling in nicely on the hot corner as well. It doesn't do someone like LaRoche much good to just sit on the bench and not play more than here and there. He can go kill the ball in Vegas and feel good about himself again.
The question will now be when they will call him back up. Nomar Garciaparra is once again, for the 743rd time in 2 season, back on the DL. Tony Abreu does not seem like he's getting much closer from returning from a right groin strain. It's not like either one of them can be relied on too heavily.
It seems to me that the call-up will come if DeWitt hits the rookie wall. That has not happened yet, giving the Dodgers some time to let LaRoche feel good swinging the bat again. While Martin is a nice option at the hot corner, his real value is obviously behind the plate. LaRoche could be back once he's in a good groove.
As I said before, I really think the Dodgers should look to move Nomar elsewhere, especially if LaRoche can hit well and DeWitt continues his good play. Nomar is way too injury-prone and at this point in his career, is not worth the trouble.