Scott Rolen has had so many shoulder problems over the years that the Reds placing him on the disabled list last month led to speculation that he might be finished.
Rolen even had doubts about playing again, which were echoed by manager Dusty Baker, but for now at least he’s giving it a go.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Rolen took batting practice and fielded ground balls on back-to-back days for the first time since being shut down on May 12. And afterward Rolen said he “felt good” and is “ready to go out and do it again and progress this way.”
Of course, he also admitted that there’s still “no timeline” for his return and with rookie Todd Frazier sporting a .900 OPS as the primary third baseman the Reds have no reason to push the 37-year-old.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.