LaRoche, last year's organizational position player of the year, was so unimpressive during Spring Training that he was sent back to Double-A Jacksonville to start the season. After a slow April, he caught fire in May and was promoted to Triple-A last week.
LaRoche hit .309 with nine home runs and 46 RBIs in 62 games at Jacksonville and was hitting .333 with two home runs and four RBIs in four games at Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, Joel Guzman, who started at third base in place of LaRoche on Saturday, was hit by a pitch in the first inning, left the game with a contusion and is listed as day-to-day.
Izturis close: Manager Grady Little said that Cesar Izturis is ready to return from an injury rehab assignment. Izturis said that he's been told he'll rejoin the club for the homestand, which begins on Tuesday.
General manager Ned Colletti said that the decision will be discussed on Monday, a day off for the club. The real decision is the roster move needed to make room for Izturis. Among the easy candidates are pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo and outfielder Andre Ethier. Longer shot candidates are pitcher Odalis Perez and outfielder Jose Cruz, who have guaranteed contracts, and reliever Jae Seo, who is out of options.
Little confirmed that he spoke with Izturis about playing third base, because Bill Mueller may not return, and that would afford Izturis the most playing time. Izturis told Little that he's prepared to play both middle infield positions, but not third base.
Although Izturis is a former Gold Glove Award winner at shortstop, Dodgers management is committed to Rafael Furcal at the position.
"I know [Furcal's] frustrated with himself," said Colletti, who signed Furcal to a three-year, $39 million contract and has seen him hit .251 and commit 16 errors this year. "I don't know if he needs external motivation [such as competition from Izturis]. He's pressing, trying to do too much, trying to live up to expectations."
Meanwhile, Ramon Martinez started at third base on Saturday for the second consecutive game.
"We like him out there with Derek Lowe on the mound," said Little, implying that he's more comfortable with Martinez's glove at third base for a ground-ball pitcher like Lowe than with Willy Aybar.
Trade talk: Colletti said that acquiring starting pitching would be a No. 1 priority before the July 31 trade deadline, but that 95 percent of the trade talks he's been involved in lately have been initiated by him.
"It's the typical prelude to the dance," he said.
Injury update: Eric Gagne is reported to be improving slowly, but he still has lingering discomfort from his injured ulnar nerve and has not resumed throwing. Johnston said that Gagne would need to be completely free of all symptoms for several days before he will resume tossing.
Outfielder Ricky Ledee, out since May 2 with a groin strain, could start a rehab assignment in the next week to 10 days.
Outfielder Jason Repko, out since May 10 with a sprained ankle, has begun running.
Outfielder Jayson Werth has reported no improvement with his ailing left wrist, and a second operation is being considered.
Navarro update: Dioner Navarro, who lost his starting catching job to Russell Martin while on a rehab assignment for a sprained right wrist, left the Las Vegas club for the allowed 72 hours after being officially optioned out, and he will report back on Monday.
Baseball Camp Tuesday: The Dodgers and the Blue Cross of California Foundation will kick off the third annual Dodgers Youth Baseball Camp on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. The two-session camp will be attended by more than 280 boys and girls, ages 7-12, and will feature daily instruction by current and former Dodgers players, as well as members of the team's coaching staff.
Participating in the camp are Martin, Ethier and pitchers Joe Beimel, Jonathan Broxton and Lowe. Coaches for the event include Dave Jauss, Manny Mota, Mariano Duncan, Rich Donnelly, Eddie Murray, Rick Honeycutt and Dan Warthen, as well as team staff members Rob Flippo and Casey Deskins. Former Dodger "Sweet" Lou Johnson will also contribute as an instructor.
Coming up: Aaron Sele (3-1, 2.32) will oppose Joe Blanton (6-6, 5.04) in Sunday's series finale at 1:05 p.m. PT.