LaRoche enjoying rare April success

LaRoche enjoying rare April success

DENVER -- Might Adam LaRoche's days of struggling during the month of April be over?

The D-backs first baseman is hitting .286 with a pair of homers and 10 RBIs this year and last year he hit .269 in the season's opening month.

Now, those aren't Hall of Fame numbers, but when you consider his April average in 2008 was .174, .133 in 2007 and .207 for his career, you can see why hitting .286 is a big deal.

"When you get that label, you get that tag, it's hard to get rid of it," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said of LaRoche not being a good April hitter. "His April last year was fine. It wasn't miserable. He's settled in nicely. He's been playing through some difficulties with his quad."

LaRoche, who signed with the D-backs as a free agent in January, missed three games due to the right quad injury. He started the year 0-for-13 before catching fire. One thing that has remained constant, though, is his defense.

"His defense has been as advertised," Hinch said. "He's saved us a number of outs, a number of runs that we may not have had with a less defensive first baseman."