Scott Rolen is having a tough time

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When Scott Rolen was placed on the disabled list in mid-May after experiencing renewed discomfort in his troublesome left shoulder, many wondered whether that might be it for the veteran third baseman.

Whether he might hang up his cleats for good.

He didn’t, returning to Cincinnati’s active roster about two weeks ago. But things still aren’t going well.

As noted by John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Rolen has no hits and eight strikeouts in his last 16 at-bats. He’s batting just .184/.243/.312 overall, and there seems to be no end in sight for his offensive struggles.

But Reds skipper Dusty Baker said Saturday that he’s going to stick with Rolen, who turned 37 in April:

“Rarely is less more, especially when you’re trying to get your stroke,” said the manager. “You can’t just look at now. You’ve got to look at his career. I’m into the big picture. Sometimes I’m into the small picture. But sooner or later, water seeks its own level. They get back to where they’re supposed to be – or at least pretty close.”

The problem is Rolen, a .281/.364/.491 career hitter, probably isn’t capable of getting back to where he’s “supposed to be — or at least pretty close.” Not at age 37, and not with lingering soreness in an area of his body that’s been fragile for several years.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.