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.
The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.
Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:
It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.
Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”
He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”
Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”
One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.
Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.
Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.