Tag:Scott Rolen
Posted on: August 9, 2011 12:20 am
Edited on: August 9, 2011 12:21 am
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Posted on: August 8, 2011 6:51 pm

Reds' Alonso left in positional limbo

Yonder AlonsoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The moment Yonder Alonso was drafted by the Reds in the first round of the 2008 draft, the questions about where he'd play began. Alonso played first base at Miami and looked like he'd be limited to first base.

That's fine and good, except for when you have the reigning MVP at first base already and that player's just 27. 

Last spring the Reds started trying Alonso in left field and he played 30 games there in 2010 between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville, but still played the bulk of his time at first base, logging 96 games there. This season with his bat ready for the big leagues, he was given more time in the left field, where he played 62 games in left compared to 21 at first base.

Since the left-handed hitting prospect was called up to the big leagues when Jonny Gomes was traded, he's started three games in left and none at first. The first part is going to change, the second may not.

Alonso's latest position may be third base after he struggled in two games in left at Wrigley Field this past weekend, playing one ball into an inside-the-park home run for Cubs rookie Tony Campana and then misplaying another ball for a crucial error in Saturday's loss.

When asked on Monday when Alonso would play left again, Reds manager Dusty Baker told reporters, "not in the near future," according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Alonso took ground balls at third base -- his main position growing up, he's said -- but Baker said he doesn't expect Alonso there anytime soon.

"You don't want to do it in the big leagues," Baker said, according to Fay. "But that's the position he started at. It's a mirror image of first base, really. You get more plays. Most first baseman are at first because they're left-handed or they don't have the arm to play third.

"We'll see. We're trying to find the best place to get his bat in the lineup."

Yonder AlonsoWhile Alonso's looked shaky in the field, he's been locked in at the plate, where he's started the season 8 for 16 with two doubles and a homer. The Reds called up another prospect, Dave Sappelt, on Sunday when Chris Heisey went on the disabled list and Sappelt will likely get a chance to play quite a bit in left and center. Sappelt had a hit leading off in his major-league debut on Sunday. Fred Lewis is starting in left on Monday.

Finding a spot for Alonso is tricky. The Reds thought he was the best hitter available when they took him with the seventh overall pick in the 2008 draft and he's shown it in the minors, where he's combined to hit .293/.370/.466. He was hitting .296/.374/.486 with 12 homers when he was called up. Although he's 4 for 7 as a pinch-hitter so far this season, going forward he's going to be too valuable for filling just that role.

The Reds and Blue Jays reportedly talked about a blockbuster sending Joey Votto to his native Toronto in exchange for Jose Bautista, opening a spot for Alonso. Although that deal didn't go down, it does show how much the team values Alonso and feels he can be an impact player in the big leagues.

Votto is under contract through 2013, so he's in the team's immediate future but could be too expensive when he reaches free agency. Alonso would be a lower-cost alternative.

Alonso could also finish the season strong and be a more valuable trade piece in the offseason because of his early success in the big leagues. 

Physically, Alonso looks more like a first baseman -- or DH -- than third baseman, but he says he feels comfortable there. He didn't play third at Miami because current Twin Danny Valencia was at third base when he got there. The Reds have a need at third base. With Scott Rolen on the disabled list (and at 36), the Reds are using a combination of rookie Todd Frazier and veteran Miguel Cairo to man the position. Rolen is under contract through next season and the team's top prospect at the position, Juan Francisco, has been hurt this season and unproductive in a couple of big-league stints.

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Posted on: August 7, 2011 11:16 pm

Rangers' Young reaches 2,000 hit mark

Michael YoungBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Rangers' Michael Young collected two hits Sunday night against the Indians to reach 2,000 for his career.

Both hits were slow rollers up the third base line that failed to draw a throw from Cleveland third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall

Young, 34, the 11th fastest player in history to reach 2,000 hits, doing it in his 1,621st game -- behind Tris Speaker (1,602) and ahead of Ted Williams (1,638).

Before Sunday's game, Rangers manager Ron Washington told reporters he likes Young's chances at reaching 3,000.

"If he stays healthy, [he could reach the milestone]," Washington said, according to MLB.com. "This year, knock on wood, he's got the normal aches and pains, but if he stays away from missing time, Michael will figure out how to get 180, 200 hits every year. That's a thousand hits [more]. He could pick up another 50, 60 before the year is over, then he only has to get [950]. I think he's got a chance to. He's only 34, so he'll have to play roughly until his 40s. He doesn't look like he's slowing down."

Well, that's a little optimistic. Young has five 200-hit season in his career, accomplishing the feat five years in a row from 2004-2007. Young saw a dip in both his batting average and on-base percentage in 2008 and 2010, bouncing back the next year each time, including a .336/.372/.497 line this season. The problem is that age -- unless you're, say, Barry Bonds -- catches up to most players. Nobody (save Bonds) gets better from 34-39, you wear down, slow down and age like a human. That's going to make Young's chance of 3,000 tougher. While he's gotten to 2,000 relatively quickly, he didn't become a regular until 2002 when he was 25. 

Of the 28 players in the 3,000 hit club -- only seven got their 2,000th hit at 34 or older, and of those only one was older than 34 (Cap Anson, who played until he was 45). 

Young is the fifth player this season to reach 2,000 hits, joining Orlando Cabrera, Carlos Lee, Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen. Young is younger than each of those other than Pujols.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 2:16 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 2:28 pm

Rolen has shoulder surgery, out 4-6 weeks

By Matt Snyder

Reds third baseman Scott Rolen has been on the disabled list since July 20 with a shoulder injury, but the news got worse Wednesday afternoon. The Reds announced that Rolen has had arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs & fragments from AC joint in his left shoulder. He's expected to fully recover, but the timetable is four to six weeks.

Rolen, 36, is hitting .242/.279/.397 this season for the Reds. With him on the shelf, they'll likely continue using some combination of Miguel Cairo and Todd Frazier at third base.

The Reds are in fourth place in the NL Central, but within striking range at 6 1/2 games back.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 22, 2011 6:31 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 6:38 pm

Reds place Rolen on DL

Scott RolenBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Reds have placed Scott Rolen on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder.

Rolen, 36, started Wednesday in the Reds' victory over the Pirates but had missed the previous three games. Although he started the All-Star Game for an injured Placido Polanco of the Phillies, Rolen has struggled this season, hitting .242/.279/.397 with five home runs and 36 RBI.

This is the second trip to the DL for Rolen this season because of the same injury. He was on the DL from April 24 to May 12.

The Reds called up Todd Frazier from Triple-A to take Rolen's place on the roster. Rolen, formerly the team's top prospect, can play third -- as well as shortstop and the corner outfield spots. This is Frazier's second stint with the team. He got a pinch-hit appearance on May 23 in Philadelphia.

Veteran Miguel Cairo is in the lineup for Rolen for Friday's game against the Braves.

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Posted on: July 9, 2011 11:15 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:12 pm

McCutchen, Rolen added to NL All-Star team

By Danny Knobler

Stop complaining about Andrew McCutchen not making the National League All-Star team.

He is on the team. He was added Saturday night after Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun told Major League Baseball that he won't be able to play in Tuesday night's game in Phoenix. Braun has missed the last seven games because of a sore left leg.

Braun led all players in fan balloting for the NL team. McCutchen was 16th among outfielders in that same fan vote, but there was an immediate outcry when he was left off the team -- and another outcry when manager Bruce Bochy chose Andre Ethier to replace the injured Shane Victorino.

McCutchen certainly has numbers worthy of All-Star status, with a .291 batting average, 13 home runs, 49 RBI and 15 steals. He's an exciting player and has played a big part in the Pirates' better-than-expected first half.

Also, Scott Rolen will replace Chipper Jones.

Jones went on the disabled list Saturday and had surgery on a knee that has bothered him for two months. Rolen had next call on a spot because he finished just behind Jones in player balloting.

Rolen is hitting just .245 for the Reds, but third base is an unusually weak position in the National League this year.

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Posted on: July 5, 2011 5:20 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 7:18 pm

On Deck: Pujols back, not in lineup

By C. Trent Rosecrans

SUPERMAN'S BACK: Albert Pujols is back after missing a little more than two weeks with a broken bone in his wrist. He's not starting tonight, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him pinch-hit at some point. Pujols is 4 for 10 with two homers in his career against Reds starter Edinson Volquez. Reds left-fielder Jonny Gomes is 4 for 8 with two doubles in his career against Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia. However, the Reds' two-through-five hitters (Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce) have combined to hit just .179 (7 for 39) against the Cardinals left-hander. Reds at Cardinals, 7:09 p.m. ET (Follow live)

Ryan BraunBRAUN, TOO: Brewers left-fielder Ryan Braun is back after missing two games with a strained left calf will miss his third game and will not be available to play at all Tuesday. Braun has a 22-game hitting streak that will resume when he does. It's too bad for the Brewers that Braun isn't playing tonight, as he is hitting .366/.418/.573 with three homers during the streak. Braun is 7 for 19 with two homers in his career against Diamondbacks starter Zach Duke. Duke is 4-7 with a 6.14 ERA in seven starts at Miller Park and the Brewers haven't lost back-to-back games at home this season. Diamondbacks at Brewers, 8:10 p.m. ET (Follow live)

Justin VerlanderDan HarenBEST MATCHUP: Justin Verlander may be the game's best pitcher right now and will look to prove it by becoming the first 12-game winner in baseball (although the Yankees' CC Sabathia will have a chance earlier in the night). Verlander is 11-3 with a 2.32 ERA and was 6-0 with a 0.92 ERA in June. He faces off against Dan Haren, who has four wins in his last six outings after suffering a seven-start winless streak. Haren was dominating in his last start, allowing just two hits in 7 1/3 innings against the Nationals, and is 8-5 with a 2.85 ERA this season. He's even better at home where he has just a 3-3 record, but a 2.12 ERA and opponents are batting .090 points lower against him at Angel Stadium than on the road. Tigers at Angels, 10:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 5:00 pm

Agents says Ramirez wants to stay in Chicago

Aramis Ramirez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Aramis Ramirez is still a Cub and he wants to keep it that way.

Ramirez's agent, Paul Kinzer, told the Chicago Tribune that his client doesn't want to be traded and is unlikely to OK a trade if the team asked. Ramirez has a full no-trade clause and is also a 10-and-5 player, meaning he must OK any trade because of his 10 years of Major League service time, inclujding the last five with the same team.

"He doesn't event want to take a trade. He took less years and less money to stay in Chicago [in 2006], so that is definitely his first option," Kinzer told the paper.

Ramirez makes $14.6 million this season and the Cubs have a club option for 2012 worth $15 million, one they'll no doubt decline and pay a $2 million buyout.

Ramirez is hitting a solid .288 with a .343 on-base percentage, but his slugging is down to just .394 with two homers in 216 plate appearances. Ramirez has a career slugging percentage of .495, but it has dipped each of the last seven seasons since he slugged a career-best .578 in 2004. Since then his slugging has decreased, sometimes gradually (.568 in 2005) and sometimes drastically, from .516 in in 2009 to .452 last season.

As I was watching the Cubs-Reds for a bit last night, they flashed some of Ramirez's career stats -- in his 14th season -- and ninth in Chicago, Ramirez has accumulated 291 home runs and 1,050 RBIs, all the while hitting .282/.340/.495. Even playing for the Cubs, I'm not so sure Ramirez has ever gotten his due for just how good of a player he's been over the years. He has earned just two All-Star nods.

Perhaps he has been overlooked among National League third basemen because he played in the time of Chipper Jones and Scott Rolen, as well as during the rise of David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman

Ramirez will turn 33 later this month and his power seems to be diminishing. Also, he has been at best an average defender. There's no way he makes $15 million next season and it appears his career is on its downside. Desppite that, there are teams that could use him for even his current skills. That said, it's unlikely to be the Cubs, unless he likes the team so much he'll take a huge paycut to stay in Wrigley.

By the way, Kinzer is also the agent for Geovany Soto, Starlin Castro and John Grabow. Kinzer told the Tribune he doesn't expect the Cubs to jettison Soto or Castro (duh), but it's possible Grabow could be on the market when the trade market begins to heat up. 

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com