Dodgers Looking at Scott Rolen as Corner Infield Backup Option

via Flickr

via Flickr

A few days ago, I heard about Dodger interest in Scott Rolen as a potential 3B/1B backup type, and while I was working to confirm that for a post tonight, Buster Olney had to go and put it out there, so there it is. Going a bit further, I believe Rolen is likely to make a decision in the next 24-48 hours.

Rolen, 38 in April and a borderline Hall of Famer, has been with the Reds for the last four years and reportedly had not yet decided if he wanted to play in 2013 or not. If he does, it’s not likely to be with Cincinnati, who has Todd Frazier ready to step in at third and also signed Jack Hannahan to a two-year deal this winter.

The immediate reaction from fans to this news has been… well, less than positive, and it’s easy to see why. He’s missed a ton of time over the last two years with left shoulder woes — yes, that’s the same shoulder that he originally hurt way back in 2005 when he tried to run over Hee-Seop Choi and lost — and he’s been mostly ineffective when he’s played, hitting only .244/.301/.397 in 599 plate appearances. That said, he did hit a respectable .277/.354/.441 in 229 plate appearances from June on last year after recovering from injury, so that’s at least encouraging. He’s also played exactly zero major league innings at first base in a career that spans back to 1996 — I mean, Ozzie Smith played in Rolen’s major league debut — but that’s a need that seems somewhat small, and it doesn’t seem unrealistic for Rolen to make that work on a limited basis.

So do the Dodgers need yet another injury-prone veteran who was great five years ago? If you want to argue they don’t, I won’t push back on that too hard, given that they have plenty of guys like that around already. Still, it was only two years ago that he was healthy and hitting .285/.358/.497, and to be quite honest, the other options are just non-existent. Who else, really, is out there to bring in? As I’ve said, you just cannot go into the season with only Luis Cruz & Hanley Ramirez on the left side, and this would not only add another option to the bench, it’d give some kind of alternative if Cruz proves last year was a mirage.

Again, Rolen may yet choose to retire, and if not he may not want to come to Los Angeles and leave his family in Indiana. (Though he does hail from Evansville, just like Don Mattingly.) I think there’s a real chance this could happen, but for now I’ll file it under “acceptable if it does just because there’s really nowhere else to turn.” If anything, it’d seem to expedite the departure of Juan Uribe out of town, so maybe that’s a win in itself.

432 comments
ukdodgerfan
ukdodgerfan

What about his platoon splits?  Could he possibly play any outfield?

 

*VND*
*VND*

LA used to be beautiful? Now ive seen everything

*VND*
*VND*

Can a Manchester accent pass.in London?

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

 @Antonio_G Yeah, Tarantino movies generally have pretty good soundtracks.

DINGERS!
DINGERS!

 @LakerDodger24 Only if Dwight stays healthy.  They dodged a bullet with Bynum.

 

 

I'd go after a young guard to groom under Nash plus picks.  Blake and Duhon is lousy depth.

*VND*
*VND*

Package him with Guerrier and Uribe.

*VND*
*VND*

No idea who he was

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

 @LA_Woman I say that as someone who knows very little about both photography AND construction.

LakerDodger24 (Kirby Pls)
LakerDodger24 (Kirby Pls)

 @Antonio_G I know the Lakers suck right now, but I'm liking my chances at a Hallway Series to start the playoffs. That would be so much fun. 

LakerDodger24 (Kirby Pls)
LakerDodger24 (Kirby Pls)

 @IBBFTW I actually like Blake as the backup. Very few mistakes, good defense and a good enough outside stroke. His problem is he lacks confidence in his shot. I think Morris could become good, with the right grooming. Over dribbling is still a problem, but he seems to be learning as he goes along. We need cap relief and picks. Even without picks, the cap relief is huge (hello, ATL with Josh Smith and Devin Harris for Gasol and Duhon).  

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

 @IBBFTW  @LakerDodger24 Big "if" re: Dwight. I'm beginning to think that was totally the wrong direction to go. And yes... definitely need a PG. DAMN STERN for putting the kibosh on Paul.

LakerDodger24 (Kirby Pls)
LakerDodger24 (Kirby Pls)

 @LA_Woman  @IBBFTW Yeah, I thought of the same thing when they made the trade. Thankfully, he looks to be close to 100% when it comes to his back as he has completely dominated the past two games back. He had 31 and 16 tonight. The spacing has been much better with Earl Clark and Jamison in instead of Gasol and Jordan Hill. Plus, Clark brings the dribbling and passing ability of Gasol, minus the post game, but he's young and can learn. 

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

 @LakerDodger24  @IBBFTW Then I hope he becomes that sturdy again, but back injuries... ugh. I just think of Larry Bird chronically lying on the floor during his nonplaying minutes.

LakerDodger24 (Kirby Pls)
LakerDodger24 (Kirby Pls)

 @LA_Woman  @IBBFTW Before the end of last year and this year, Dwight was the NBA's Iron Man, having missed only 7 games out of a possible 574 (not counting playoffs). I liked the move because the gap between the No. 1 center (Howard) and No. 2 center (Bynum) was and still is huge. Howard is better in every aspect you could think of except for Free Throws. 

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

 @LakerDodger24 I gave up on them some time during the epic losing streak. They've got a lot to prove before I come back and invest time in them again.

*VND*
*VND*

I actually love crowds but i understand the sentiment. I got into sports because i didnt want to be an outcast and lonely. I embrace cultures :)

*VND*
*VND*

Xenophobia rains down upon my existence

*VND*
*VND*

im a foreigner and a commie.