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.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.
The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.
Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.
Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.
Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.