We heard yesterday that veteran third baseman Scott Rolen was leaning toward returning for another season, but it’s not clear whether he’ll do so as a member of the Reds. We might not have to wait much longer to find out.
According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said today that Rolen’s status is “still up in the air,” but that he’s hoping to “get it resolved this weekend.” Just where he’d fit on the Reds’ roster is unknown, but Jocketty said his role would be determined during spring training.
Rolen would almost certainly have to take a backseat to Todd Frazier after he batted just .245/.318/.398 with eight home runs, 39 RBI and a .716 OPS over 92 games last season. The Dodgers have also expressed interest in him this winter and could present a better opportunity and quite possibly, a more lucrative offer.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.