Yet more worrying news came out of the Cincinnati Reds camp today. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.com, the shoulder injury to veteran third baseman Scott Rolen has the Reds' training staff worried that he may not return for the remainder of the season.
Currently labeled as indefinitely out, Rolen's injured shoulder is the same injury that prematurely ended his 2011 season. It was hoped that Rolen would return sooner rather than later, as original reports stated that he could avoid missing extended time.
Rolen was batting a meager .172 prior to being placed on the disabled list, with two home runs and 11 runs batted in. His batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage are all career lows.
In the last year of his contract and pushing the envelope at 37 years old, Rolen could have played his last game in a Reds uniform if he is indeed out for the season. This season could likely be the shortest of Rolen's long career, having gone on the disabled list after only playing in 29 games.
In the absence of Rolen, youngster Todd Frazier should draw the majority of starts, although veterans Wilson Valdez and Miguel Cairo should factor in for some time at the hot corner. The recently promoted Mike Costanzo could also see the occasional start if he remains in the majors.
The absence of Rolen leaves a major hole in the lineup for Cincinnati. If Frazier cannot step up and fill the void, GM Walt Jocketty may be forced to make a trade for a bat to bolster the lineup as the trade deadline approaches in July.