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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.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.