Scott Rolen is absent from Friday’s lineup and iffy for the weekend after receiving two cortisone injections for soreness in his left shoulder, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
“I kind of tracked it back to San Diego,” he said, referring to an April 11-13 series. “I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I haven’t been excelling. I’m not pointing fingers but I’ve been struggling a bit with my shoulder seven to 10 days.”
Rolen is in a 4-for-29 slump that’s left him at .217/.246/.417 in 60 at-bats for the season. He drove in 10 runs in his first nine games but just two in seven games since.
Rolen had shoulder surgery in 2005 and has frequently dealt with soreness in the area since, though cortisone usually takes care of it. This time, the pain is spread out between his shoulder, neck and back. An MRI on his neck came back negative.
With Rolen absent, the Reds have Miguel Cairo starting at third base and batting seventh against the Cardinals tonight.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.