Every few weeks we do an update on Scott Rolen that basically says he’s still trying to decide if he wants to play in 2013 or retire, and apparently the 38-year-old remains undecided.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Rolen “has been in periodic contact” with the Reds, who despite being committed to Todd Frazier as the starting third baseman have “interest in bringing Rolen back if he wants to play.”
General manager Walt Jocketty estimated that Rolen will make a decision within the next 7-10 days, but Sheldon speculates that it’ll be longer because “there really is no need for Rolen to make some sort of announcement, as long as the club hasn’t set any kind of deadline.”
In other words, as long as the Reds leave the door open Rolen can take his sweet time and not have to worry about changing his mind. For whatever it’s worth, Sheldon predicts that Rolen will eventually decide to call it quits after hitting .245 with eight homers and a .716 OPS in 92 games last season.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.