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.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.
Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.
The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.