A recurrence of the shoulder problems that put LaRoche on the sidelines a year ago have set him down again. To replace him, the 51's called up Marshall McDougall from Jacksonville. Rather than call anybody up to fill in there, the Dodgers bought the contract of Kevin Howard from independent ball to take over at their Southern League affiliate.
LaRoche was hitting only .244 with three home runs and just 18 runs batted in for Las Vegas when sidelined. It's been apparent for some time that he hasn't been able to produce the swing that made him one of the most touted of Dodger prospects.
McDougall, the onetime Florida State star who was picked up as a minor league free agent over the winter, was showing power at Jacksonville when called up. He was batting .263 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI.
Howard is a onetime fifth-round draft pick of the Indians after finishing at the University of Miami in 2003. He eventually was traded to the Yankees for whom he hit .255 with eight homers at Trenton last year. They dropped him this spring and he's gone on to play for the Indians at Lake County in the South Atlantic League and for the Phillies at Clearwater in the Florida State League before being dropped again.
He signed on in independent ball where the Dodgers found him to give him another chance.
LaRoche Out, McDougall Up, Howard In
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