How Scott Rolen can still help the Reds

Updated: July 16, 2012, 9:47 AM ET
By Buster Olney

CINCINNATI -- Scott Rolen returned to the dugout Sunday after taking batting practice to grab a cup of water on a muggy summer evening, and he talked about his struggles at the plate. His left shoulder has been a pin cushion for doctors, and so he's trying to find a swing with a happy medium between functionality and comfort.

Rolen knows he is struggling, and in his conversations with Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker, he has been deferential, Baker said, making it apparent that he will go along with whatever his skipper decides.

But Rolen believes he has more to give, and he gestured toward the scoreboard in left-center field, where every day his sub-.200 batting average has been displayed. "I know I'm better than that," he said.

A few hours later, the St. Louis Cardinals faced an eighth-inning crisis in a 2-2 game and chose to intentionally walk the No. 6 hitter in the Reds' lineup, Ryan Ludwick, to load the bases for the No. 7 hitter.

That was Scott Rolen.