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 Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”
Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.