2013 Reds

Oh, what will Scotty Rolen do?

No word yet from Scott Rolen on whether he will retire, or whether he will return for another season. John Fay thinks he will retire, but that’s just speculation, since no one has actually heard from Rolen.

I wouldn’t mind having Rolen around as a bench guy — he’s better than the Miguel Cairos of the world, certainly — but I have little faith that he’d be a bench guy on a Dusty Baker team. My guess is that he’d be the primary starter at 3B, if healthy (and that’s a big “if”).

What do you think? Do we want Rolen to return?

UPDATE: Then there’s this:

The Dodgers have had internal discussions about whether to pursue third baseman Scott Rolen, according to a person familiar with the team’s thinking.

The team has not reached out to Rolen to gauge his interest, the person said. Rolen previously has preferred to play close to his Indiana home.

I don’t see any chance in the world that Scott Rolen will be a Dodger at this point in his career. It just makes no sense whatsoever. Stranger things have happened, I guess…

30 thoughts on “Oh, what will Scotty Rolen do?

  1. Along the lines of Reds player status, anyone start the arbitration cycle with the Reds? I saw that ESPN said 131 players filed across the MLB; but find no mention of it on Reds official site.

  2. Bailey, Homer CI SP
    Choo, Shin-soo CI OF
    Heisey, Chris CI OF
    Latos, Mat CI SP
    Leake, Mike CI SP
    Ondrusek, Logan CI RP
    Simon, Alfredo CI RP

    this list is per Mark Sheldon who does his MLB Blog for the reds.com website

  3. Rolen makes more sense for the Dodgers than the Reds. I understand the counterpoint is that Rolen might not want to uproot his family to LA for 1 year with a new team but it’s always easy to underestimate how much these guys are addicted to playing baseball.

    The Dodgers have a weird grouping of players right now at 3B, and the alternatives are very, very thin. Used properly, something the Reds have shown unable to do, Rolen could provide positive value. I rarely ever mention this type non-sabertype stuff, but Hanley could use a Rolen-type guy to his right side.

  4. @CP: This is exactly what I was going to say. If Rolen wants to play for one more year, and there isn’t a spot for him to play regularly in Cinci, he may very well be willing to spend the year in LA.

  5. LA’s a great spot to play for a guy like Rolen. Always warm, very low pressure, and your team will at a minimum, compete the NL West title.

  6. We keep hearing the non-news about Rolen. But other than performance comparisons (such as your “he’s better than the Miguel Cairos of the world”), I haven’t heard anything about Cairo other than he is a free agent and may retire (which is pretty much what we’ve heard from Rolen, except we keep hearing it again and again every week and a half or so). The last real news I read about Cairo was when he was officially declared to be a free agent, which was the same day Ludwick, Broxton, Marshall, etc. were declared free agents. Since he and Rolen are the last two unsigned free agents from last season, I’d like to know… is Cairo officially done as a Red? Is there still a chance he’ll be back? Are the Reds even interested in having him return if he wants to come back? I’m not looking for commentary on the subject (I have a feeling I’d know what most Reds fans would say, which would pretty much be on par with my personal feelings), but a hint of some news would be nice.

  7. Everything I’ve read from Dusty and Walt seems to indicate they’ve moved on a long time ago. The uncertainty could be a nice way of not spilling the beans before Rolen announces.

    And yet, I’m not convinced he won’t join a team midseason if only to avoid the head-to-head comparisons to Chipper Jones when it comes time to vote for the HOF.

    Rolen 2077 hits 517 doubles .855 OPS
    Chipper 2726 hits 468 HR 549 doubles .930 OPS

    Any way you slice it, Chipper will be a hard act to follow.

  8. As an aside, anyone else have a big ol’ nervous laugh about the huge overpay by the Nationals for Rafael Soriano? Their bullpen is STACKED.

    • As an aside, anyone else have a big ol’ nervous laugh about the huge overpay by the Nationals for Rafael Soriano? Their bullpen is STACKED.

      I was stunned that Soriano got $28MM, AND that the Nats were the team to sign him. I guess that NLDS game 5 meltdown by last year’s closer Storen cost the Nats $28MM and Storen his closing job. I wonder if WJ could make a trade for Storen?? He’d make a better closer than Broxton. Storen would be a LH addition to the bullpen.
      Storen didn’t pitch last year until after the all-star break. He was coming off an elbow injury, but I am unsure if he had surgery last winter/spring or not. He’s young and been a stellar closer in the past. Just saying. Just wondering.

    • As an aside, anyone else have a big ol’ nervous laugh about the huge overpay by the Nationals for Rafael Soriano?Their bullpen is STACKED.

      Two years for $28m, the first thing I thought was “That’s closer money”. It puts Jonathan Broxton’s deal in perspective. I think Marshall and Broxton both make a bunch of money but not enough to be guaranteed a closer job, but that deal puts in perspective what a good team pays for a real closer for 2013. Broxton’s $7m? No, twice that, $14m. Broxton and Marshall are both just expensive setupmen for Chapman.

      • @redsfanman:

        Two years for $28m, the first thing I thought was “That’s closer money”. It puts Jonathan Broxton’s deal in perspective. I think Marshall and Broxton both make a bunch of money but not enough to be guaranteed a closer job, but that deal puts in perspective what a good team pays for a real closer for 2013. Broxton’s $7m? No, twice that, $14m. Broxton and Marshall are both just expensive setupmen for Chapman.

        You keep banging this drum. Just HOW MANY of us will be reminding you of this when Chapman starts?

        Chapman will start for two reasons: the Reds will be soo much better with a quality lefty starter, AND as WV (LOL) put it: wait for it, wait for it, he will singlehandingly virtually guarantee a sellout, each and every time he starts. MLB is a business as well as a sport.

        You have yourself convinced. Most of the rest of us have grown tired of the conversation.

        My apologies if this comes off as harsh …

  9. If healthy, I wouldn’t be against having Rolen on the bench. He’d have the best bat on the bench, maybe equal to Heisey, and the best power. I could envision Rolen starting 2 games a week at 3B spelling Frazier some, and maybe Frazier could possibly play one of those 2 games at 1B to rest Votto’s knee in the first half of the season. This could keep Frazier and Votto fresh towards the end of the year. Frazier sputtered badly and ran out of gas in September last year. As long as the roles are clearly spelled out for Rolen and Frazier, and they are accepting of those roles, having Rolen as a part-time starter, bench player/pinch hitter, veteran influence guy and insurance against a Frazier injury or severe sophmore slump can only be a good thing.
    Reds can always trade Hannahan for a minor league prospect and then pick up another backup 3B next winter.
    If Rolen wants one more shot at a World Series ring, his prospects are slighty better with the Reds as opposed to the National League Yankees, I mean the Dodgers.

    • If healthy, I wouldn’t be against having Rolen on the bench. He’d have the best bat on the bench, maybe equal to Heisey, and the best power.

      I’m on the other side there… I don’t see Rolen as a go-to power bat at all. He can probably tough out a good AB mind you, but when he’s up, I’m not thinking gap double or HR. I understand the thinking of Rolen keeping fresh and uninjured on the bench is appealing (read: constantly recharging that crappy cell phone battery that only lasts for an hour.) 2012 was his 3rd worst career year in slugging, only slightly ahead of, wait for it, wait for it… 2011. He may still represent the best power available, but that ain’t sayin’ much.

  10. Sultan of Swaff
    1/16/2013 at 2:52 pm (Quote)
    Everything I’ve read from Dusty and Walt seems to indicate they’ve moved on a long time ago. The uncertainty could be a nice way of not spilling the beans before Rolen announces.

    And yet, I’m not convinced he won’t join a team midseason if only to avoid the head-to-head comparisons to Chipper Jones when it comes time to vote for the HOF.

    Rolen 2077 hits 517 doubles .855 OPS
    Chipper 2726 hits 468 HR 549 doubles .930 OPS

    Any way you slice it, Chipper will be a hard act to follow.

    Even if you add the postseason.

    • Hang on a second, let me check…

      Nope.Don’t care.

      Mean, but funny.

      Walt & Company has spent a lot of effort building a lineup that even Dusty can construct properly. Rolen throws the whole thing in flux.

  11. I am ready to move on without Rolen and I don’t trust Dusty Baker with Rolen on the team starting Rolen over Frazier. Last year in the playoffs, if Baker would have put Frazier in for a late defensive replacement like he should have Frazier would have made the throw on the grounder Rolen bobbled and didn’t have the shoulder strength to get the the throw over there in time to get the runner out which opened up the inning for the Giants to win the game.. Besides Rolen has been a rally killer for most of the three years he has been with the Reds so move on.

  12. Scott Rolen’s health problems make him particularly ill-suited to a bench role. He’d be unavailable for long stretches of time.

  13. The Reds signed Jack Hannahan to a 2 year deal and I think it’s pretty clear that Scott Rolen’s job is gone. In interviews after Hannahan’s signing Jocketty suggested Hannahan was a lefty bat they’d been looking for for a long time, a good defensive player, and a good influence in the clubhouse. Does anybody really expect them to replace the lefty bat capable of doing Rolen’s job… with Rolen? I sure don’t.

    Everything indicates that they’ve moved on but they still want to be respectful of Scott Rolen. Fine. His job is gone but if they want to keep him feeling like part of the family, fine. Saying “we don’t want him, he’s worthless” wouldn’t help. If he retires I think they’ll offer him a job as a special assistant to the GM. If he says he wants to play… well… I think they’ll offer him a job as a special assistant to the GM rather than a roster spot. If he wants to keep playing elsewhere, that’d be up to him.

    Going into the season it looks like Frazier will play everyday. If he struggles he can get moved into a platoon with Hannahan. Either way a lefty-righty platoon should be a straightforward and un-controversial option for Dusty Baker, unlike Rolen vs Frazier.

  14. I was all for Rolen being a 2013 bench guy, even though he doesn’t give you anything other than a backup at 3B. Rationalized it that the Reds had a 2.5 man bench last year (Frazier, Heisey, and a half for the catcher tandem of Meso & Navo), so they could “blow” 1 spot on a single position backup. Plus Jason Donald gives you backup capability at 2B, SS, 3B, and corner OF in 2013.

    However, when Hannahan was signed that window closed. I’d rather have a healthy Hannahan than a question mark Rolen; i.e., would Rolen be healthy when called upon? I think Walt gave us his view of Rolen’s potential utility (as well as his commitment to 2013) when he signed Hannahan.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Rolen fan and I DO believe that he was a positive factor in turning the franchise around. I just feel that his best days, if not all of his days, are behind him.

    As for the ever present Dusty proofing nonsense, Rolen starting in front of Frazier in 2013 is hogwash. Dusty saw what we saw. The Frazier of 2011, slash line .232/.289/.438, grew into the Frazier of 2012 with a .273/.331/.498. While I could see some regression in Frazier’s numbers, his offense would most likely eclipse anything Rolen could muster. Yeah, Rolen might give you better defense for maybe one last season, but the future is Frazier’s.

  15. @earmbrister: I’ve also grown tired of the conversation but Soriano’s contract shows how much closers STILL get paid and shoots down the argument that Broxton, who earns half as much, got unquestionable ‘closer money’. I said all along that Broxton is a setupman or a stopgap if they need a closer rather than a guy they believe in as the team’s closer, and Soriano’s deal reinforces that.

    Chapman isn’t the only lefty starter competing for a rotation spot in 2013, Tony Cingrani is a top pitching prospect who has dominated at every level, he’ll either be blocked in AAA or mis-cast as a reliever. Removing Chapman from the closer role for an experiment in hopes of blocking Cingrani seems silly.

    Chapman will virtually guarantee a sellout as a starter? Kinda like the Cy Young caliber Ace Johnny Cueto? Or how Ken Griffey Jr would bring in the fans? Surely the Reds got regular sellouts to see their MVP 1b, Joey Votto. Oh wait. Selling out Chapman’s starts is wishful thinking and very unrealistic. It might provide a slight attendance boost in under 20% of the home games but his removal from the closer role will compel fans to leave earlier (people stay to see Chapman but they didn’t to see Francisco Cordero and won’t for Jonathan Broxton or Sean Marshall) and spend less on overpriced food and drinks at the concessions stands, and concessions are a big source of revenue. MLB is a business with lots of factors to consider.

  16. @earmbrister: It’s worth recognizing that more than a direct replacement for Scott Rolen the new player, Jack Hannahan, is a platoon option for Todd Frazier. I’d call that ‘Dusty Proofing’ where instead of choosing which of two similar guys (but when, why, and how much?) he likes most he has obvious options, either play Frazier everyday or start Hannahan against RHPs and Frazier against LHPs. I think everyone, including Dusty, would agree that starting Hannahan against lefties is a bad option. For the two righties, Rolen and Frazier, the ideal breakdown of playing time was far more controversial and open to debate.

  17. @redsfanman:
    The Reds are in business to win baseball games. And if the front office and management think the Reds can win a few more games with Chapman as a starter rather than a closer, then that is what will happen. Chapman will be a starter. The Reds are not going to make Chapman a closer just because a few fans will stay longer and buy more $6 hot dogs and $9 beers. That is just ludicrous. Personnel decisions will be based on if that player can help the Reds win more ball games playing “X” position. Nothing more, nothing less.

  18. You’ve grown tired of the conversation? You continue to bring it up.

    As for your points …

    Soriano’s contract proves nothing about the Reds’ intentions.

    Cingrani didn’t dominate at AAA, cause he hasn’t pitched there, as you well know. It’s not a matter of being blocked, he probably could use more seasoning in the minors, and time to work on his third pitch if he is going to be a starter (and he should be a starter). Why should Cingrani be a starter? Because he is more valuable to the Reds as a starter. That’s why the Reds and every other bullclub in MLB pay their top starters more than their top relievers. Likewise, Chapman is more valuable to the Reds as a starter. I’d rather get 160-180 innings from Chapman than 60-80 innings.

    In any case, Cingrani is, at best, the Reds’ seventh starter. Leake is their sixth starter, and yes it is important to go 6 or 7 deep in starting pitching, just ask the Cardinals. Chapman will be a starter because, most likely, he could better Leake’s 2012 numbers in his sleep. The Reds 5th starting pitcher numbers in 2012 were wanting: Chapman’s move to the rotation makes the rotation SOOO much stronger.

    If you think that the Reds will only get a “slight attendance boost” in Chapman’s starts, you are kidding yourself. If a fan can only go to ONE GAME A SEASON, which game is he or she going to attend? The one Chapman starts. If a fan is going to go to only ONE GAME IN A PARTICULAR SERIES, which game will he or she going to attend? Furthermore, even the casual fan or non-fan of baseball would want to go see what all of the hoopla is about. In NYC, the fans came out to see Doc Gooden, not Ron Darling.

    You seem real confident in your convictions; you may want to exercise a bit of restraint in case the baseball gods decide to throw you a curve.

  19. @WVRedlegs: Where the Reds think Chapman can help the Reds to win more games has yet to be determined. If he leaves the bullpen I expect the starters to get fewer wins in 2013 due to blown saves. I don’t think the rotation will be decided by the chance that Chapman would start 20% of the home games and the expectation that they’d sell out for those games.

    Yep, Chapman closing will sell a bunch of $6 hotdogs and $9 beers as fans stay longer. Lots of them, buying lots of overpriced stuff. That’s a lot of money. I don’t think it should be written off as irrelevant.

    @earmbrister: Soriano proves that Jonathan Broxton wasn’t paid anywhere close to the going rate for a closer who people take seriously. $7m is ‘closer money’ and guarantees Broxton the job? That’s nonsense, that’s half of what a real closer earns.

    I don’t think I said Cingrani pitched in AAA, I said all along that he dominated everywhere he’s been. Most recently he was dominant in AA and for a very brief stint with the Reds. I’m all for sending Cingrani to AAA and seeing how it goes but I think he can try jumping to the Reds if necessary. If the priority is having a lefty in the rotation I think he’s ready to put up decent numbers.

    Again, Chapman vs Leake for the rotation isn’t a 1 on 1 battle. You have to consider collateral damage to the team. Blown saves, a worse bullpen, more innings required by a weakened bullpen, questions regarding health and effectiveness, all those have to be considered. Chapman’s conversion converts the whole pitching staff into a huge question mark rather than strengthening any aspect of it.

    Aroldis Chapman could reach Leake’s numbers in his sleep? You know, that kinda scares me. EXTREMELY high expectations, unrealistic expectations, like for can’t-miss superstar Homer Bailey upon his debut. Or can’t-miss superstar Edinson Volquez. What if he doesn’t live up to your expectations?

    If a fan is going to go to one game in a particular series which game will he attend? I think the priority is that the fans buy a ticket for the series, not which day they do. I doubt the seats will be empty for Cueto and Latos because of Chapman’s impending appearance in the series. What makes fans buy tickets? Wins, a winning team. Fairweather fans come out when the team wins, NOT to see individual players. As far as fairweather fans wanting to know what the hoopla is about, that carries over to fairweather fans staying late to see the Reds’ dominant closer, Aroldis Chapman. Ever feel the energy when he’s closing? It makes people want to come back for more, while his predecessor, Francisco Cordero, made people leave feeling frustrated or disgruntled, wondering why they stayed. They have a choice between a lockdown closer or to return to Francisco Cordero under a new name – Jonathan Broxton.

    Exercise a bit of restraint in case the baseball gods decide to throw a curve? Who hasn’t been asked to throw a lot of curves? AROLDIS CHAPMAN. He lives and dies by his fastball in the closer role, something he can’t get by with as a starter.

  20. Not sure how this has turned into a conversation about Chapman in the rotation vs Chapman in the pen but here are my thoughts on Rolen.

    Personally, I think with the signing of Hannahan and the trade for Choo, also netting the Reds Donald, it would be in the Reds’ best interest to pass on Rolen, even if he wants to play another year. Rolen would probably take Donald’s (or Izturis’)roster spot, which would be good from pinch-hitter standpoint but not so good when Cozart needs a day off or suffers a “day-to-day” type injury. Hannahan plays nice defense on both corners but you don’t want to see him at SS. I am less worried about “Dusty-proofing” the lineup than most around here because I actually believe that Dusty would start Frazier most the time at 3B even with Rolen on the roster. Still, the Reds should pass.

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