Never good news when you hear of someone having surgery. It’s even more depressing when you consider that Reds third baseman Scott Rolen had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder, the same shoulder that has two prior surgeries to repair a torn labrum back in 2005. The recent procedure was to remove bone fragments.
While it’s no mystery that Rolen has struggled this season, we now have a definitive reason as to why. Rolen, who is currently serving a second DL stint this season, has stated he did not want to have another surgery on that shoulder. This should clear for Todd Frazier to see more playing time at third, right? Not so fast.
Juan Francisco is currently doing a rehab assignment in Arizona. It will be interesting to see what transpires once that assignment is completed. Will Francisco then go to Louisville for a little more work or will he be called up to Cincy? That remains to be seen. but it does provide an intriguing situation.
If Francisco is kept in the minors for more work, that could signal that the issue of his torn meniscus may not be 100% solved. It could also mean that the Reds brass is intent on going with a Frazier/Miguel Cairo platoon (or sorts) at third for the remainder of the season.
If Francisco is to join the Reds, things could get interesting to say the least. Last night, Reds manager Dusty Baker took advantage of Frazier’s flexibility by starting him in left field. The night before, it was Yonder Alonso there. Tonight, it’s Fred Lewis. And there’s also Chris Heisey. I’m sure some fans wouldn’t want anyone to forget him either. An “odd man out” situation could take place.
I know Reds fans have been wanting both Frazier and Alonso to see the bulk of the playing time since it’s perceived that the Reds are out of the race to win the division, but I do like one thing Baker has said. He has stated that the team still wants to win games. To do that, you must put the players on the lineup card that give you the best chance.
Dusty’s detractors say he doesn’t know how to properly fill out a lineup card anyway so what’s the big deal in giving Alonso and Frazier playing time. I kind of side with those even though I do have a history of defensing Baker. You have to see who’s the future at third (Frazier or Francisco) if Rolen cannot completely return. Same holds true for right field (Alonso, Heisey or maybe even Frazier).
At some point, Frazier, Alonso, Heisey and Francisco deserve a real shot to prove themselves.