Pirates Notebook: LaRoche to address knee in offseason

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ST. LOUIS -- First baseman Adam LaRoche will have his troublesome left knee examined after the Pirates' season ends, and he is prepared to do "whatever it takes," including surgery, to address it.

But doing so immediately, he added, is not an option.

"We'll look at it when we're all done," LaRoche said. "But, if you do anything right now, that's your season. And it's just not that bad."

Minor-League Report
Wednesday's results
  • HICKORY lost to West Virginia, 12-2, in Game 1 of their South Atlantic League best-of-three semifinal. RHP Mike Crotta (0-1, 15.75) allowed seven runs and 10 hits in four-plus innings. RF Jonel Pacheco (.333) went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. SS Michael Ambrose (.500) went 2 for 4.
  • STATE COLLEGE (34-39) beat Mahoning Valley, 3-1. RHP Matt Foust (3-6, 4.47) pitched four scoreless innings and allowed three hits. C Andrew Walker (.325) hit his second home run and went 1 for 4 with two RBIs.

It has worsened, though.

LaRoche has played through pain in his knee since late June, when fluid began accumulating on the back of it. But it could not have hampered him much: The period since then has been his most productive with a .338 average from June 28 onward.

But the injury was compounded when he fouled a ball off that kneecap Saturday in Milwaukee, causing additional bruising and swelling on the front.

An MRI taken in June detected no structural damage, but that could have changed. Left fielder Jason Bay had similar symptoms in a knee last season, then had minor cleanup surgery afterward.

Wilson is Clemente nominee

Shortstop Jack Wilson was named the Pirates' nominee for Major League Baseball's Roberto Clemente Award in recognition of his charitable work in the Pittsburgh area. The national winner from the 30 nominees will be announced at Game 3 of the World Series.

Wilson will be recognized for the nomination, his third, before the Sept. 13 game at PNC Park.

"It's very important to me and my family that we give back to our community," Wilson said. "We are very blessed to do what we do for a living."

Someone else's prize

Reliever Jonathan Albaladejo, the Pirates' 19th-round draft pick in 2001 under previous scouting director Mickey White, joined the Washington Nationals as a September recall Tuesday.

He had a cumulative 2.97 ERA in Class AA and AAA this season, dominating the latter level by limiting opponents to two earned runs and a .195 average in 23 innings.

Albaladejo, a 6-foot-5, 24-year-old right-hander with a 95 mph fastball, had a 3.89 ERA for Class AA Altoona last year, then a strong season in the Puerto Rican winter league. He opened the season on the disabled list -- a common occurrence through his career -- before the Pirates released him April 24. Washington signed him as a minor-league free agent May 3.

Buried treasure

Bryan Bullington will have his family on hand -- wife Lauren and daughter Isabella -- for his major-league starting debut today.

Right fielder Xavier Nady was held out of a second game because of continuing discomfort related to his beaning Monday. He will be checked again today.

Reliever Danny Moskos, the Pirates' first-round pick in June, has recovered from a poor start at State College to have three scoreless appearances and is "throwing with some zip," director of player development Brian Graham said. Moskos is being limited to an inning each time out, with a mandatory day off between outings.


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