Rolen played in just 65 games last season
After injuries limited Scott Rolen to only 65 games played last season, the perennial All-Star third baseman is hoping for a healthy bounce-back campaign in 2012. He recently showed up to the Cincinnati Reds' camp ready for action.
Scott Rolen's health is probably the biggest question of Reds camp. Rolen showed up Friday ready to go.
Reds manager Dusty Baker's plan was for Rolen to play 120 games last year. He ended up playing in 65 and starting 60 before his left shoulder sidelined him for the year. The shoulder required surgery on Aug. 3.
"I feel good," he said. "I have more range of motion than I've had in the last four or five years."
The Reds haven't determined how many games Rolen will play, but he will get regular rest.
"I don't know," Baker said. "I can't put a number on it. His body is going to dictate that. Quite frankly, I'm hoping for more. That was just a number I had picked. Last year was a tough year."
Rolen will continue beyond this season. He's in the final year of his contract. He was asked if retiring after this year was a possibility.
"I don't know," he said. "I'm looking for words. Obviously, 'no' would be (the answer). I'm not spending much time on that. If this is my last year -- right now I have one year on my contract -- so if this is my last year, I want to make sure I get out and play. I want to be accountable for this year. From that point, one of the disappointments I had last year, I feel as an everyday player one of your most important jobs is your responsibility to your position, to your team. You're accountable for happens on the field. I wasn't able to do that.
"I'm looking pretty present right now, just getting on the field."
Reds Notes & Quotes
LHP Sean Marshall was signed to a three-year, $16.5 million extension, according to MLB.com.
"I'm super excited," Marshall said. "Since day one when I came to the new facility here and got to meet my Reds teammates and staff and got to be back with (manager) Dusty (Baker) and the coaches I was with, they were all very welcoming. I've been very excited so far in spring training."
Marshall spent the first six years of his career with the Cubs. He played for Baker in Chicago in 2006, back when Marshall was a starter.
He's reinvented himself as one of the game's most effective left-handers out of the bullpen the last two seasons. Marshall's ERA was 2.65 in 2010, then dipped to 2.26 in 2011.
Marshall has averaged 75 innings per season the last two years, and he struck out 79 in 75 2/3 innings last season, a commodity the Reds paid handsomely for.
"I feel like my deal is just as good as I could get as a free-agent pitcher," Marshall told MLB.com. "It's peace of mind. For me, it's going to ease some pressure off of me and make me perform well. Peace of mind is a good thing to have for my family. I think really highly of the front-office staff for even proposing a long-term extension to me. I am forever thankful for that."
The Reds are also looking at Marshall as an option when closer Ryan Madson needs an off day.
2B Brandon Phillips had nothing new to report on his contract extension talks.
"I thought it would be over with by now," Phillips said. "It is what it is. The only thing I can do is go out there and play the game, do what's best for the team. I love the moves we made to make the team better. That's what it's all about. We can all go out and get things done. My day will come. I'm not really worried about it. I'm letting my agent and the Reds take care of that themselves. It would have been nice coming to camp knowing things were done."
3B Juan Francisco was held out of the first workout Friday with a strained right calf. Francisco began last year on the disabled list with a strained left calf.
RF Jay Bruce showed up to camp 16 pounds lighter. "I feel a little better," he said. "Ten, 15 pounds off your joints helps you stay healthy through the season.
-RHP Homer Bailey added 15 pounds during the offseason. Bailey spent time on the disabled list twice last year with shoulder problems. "We're hoping that by getting a little stronger it helps me get through the season," Bailey said.
LHP Aroldis Chapman will prepare as a starter this spring. "We're going to stretch him out and see if he can handle it," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You can always go back (to relief)."
By the Numbers: 7 – That's the number of pitchers 6-foot-5 or taller in camp: Andrew Brackman (6-10), Mat Latos (6-6), Ryan Madson (6-6), Sean Marshall (6-7), Logan Ondrusek (6-8), Jeff Francis (6-5) and Chad Reineke (6-6).
Quote to Note: "I don't care about that. We've got enough. All I care about is here. We have enough to win. In 2010, everyone seemed to play well and stay healthy. Last year, guys took a step back and were unhealthy. Hopefully, we meet in the middle this year." -- Joey Votto on the effect of Ryan Braun's suspension being overturned on NL Central race.