Reds' Rolen misses opener
Friday, April 22, 2011
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cincinnati Reds third baseman Scott Rolen had two cortisone injections to relieve pain and stiffness in his left shoulder and neck and was not in Friday night’s starting lineup.
Rolen had the injections Thursday before flying to St. Louis for the start of a three-game series against his old team, the Cardinals.
Rolen said he had issues with the shoulder for a week to 10 days before consulting team medical personnel.
“I’ve been battling with it, trying to get over the hump a little bit, and it’s going the wrong way,” Rolen said. “I’m not worried about it, I’m not getting cut on. I’m concerned enough about it to get a couple injections and see where we are.”
Miguel Cairo played third for the second straight game and batted seventh for the Reds.
Manager Dusty Baker also gave Rolen a day off Thursday, noting Rolen appeared slower the last few days.
The 35-year-old Rolen was 4-for-29 the previous eight games with two RBI and was batting .217 overall with two homers and 12 RBI.
Rolen injured his left shoulder twice when he was with St. Louis, the first time in the 2002 playoffs on defense in a collision with Arizona’s Alex Cintron.
He did it again in May 2005 when he barreled into Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Hee-Seop Choi running out a grounder.
He had two surgeries in 2005, and missed time in 2007 and 2008 because of the shoulder.
“Same shoulder, same situation,” Rolen said.
Rolen’s not certain when he’ll be back in the lineup and manager Dusty Baker’s not counting on him the whole weekend, saying, “We’ll see what treatment does for him.”
Whether or not he plays, Rolen anticipated no lingering resentment between the teams from last year’s brawl in early August in Cincinnati.
“I hope it’s baseball on the field, I hope that’s where the rivalry is,” Rolen said. “I hope the rivalry is two teams that hopefully are going to be at the top of the division and fighting down the stretch for the National League Central.
“We have a good ballclub and I think they do over there.”
Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus also expected the focus to be on the game.
“I see them as another team that I’m just trying to go out and beat,” Rasmus said. “I don’t see them as a bitter rival, I’ve got some friends on the team.”
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