CINCINNATI -- Reds third baseman Scott Rolen went back on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of more soreness in his left shoulder, a chronic problem late in his career.
The 37-year-old infielder had surgery to clean out the shoulder last August, but hasn't fully recovered his swing. He was batting only .174 with two homers and 11 RBIs when he called the team on Saturday and suggested something had to be done.
Rolen is on the final year of his contract and knows it could be his last.
"I called them today and said this isn't working, I'm hurting, I'm in pain," Rolen said, standing outside the clubhouse in uniform after the move was announced shortly before the start of a game against Washington. "I'm not healthy right now. As much as I want to help the team, I'm hurting the team.
"I was fighting to stay on the field. One thing I talked about all spring was I wanted to play the season, I didn't want DL time. I didn't want to talk about the pink elephant in the room, and here we're kind of talking about it. I'm not healthy right now."
Rolen briefly teared up as he talked about the shoulder problem that could end his career before long. He played in only 65 games last season because of it, then was slow to recover from the surgery.
His next step is to go on a stretching and strengthening program to try to get rid of inflammation in the shoulder. He's hopeful that he can get the problem under control and get back on the field.
"I don't see this as a real long-term thing," Rolen said. "It's not like a surgical procedure or anything like going down that road again. I've had a tough time with it. I'm in a bad spot with it right now."
Cincinnati called up third baseman Mike Costanzo from Triple-A Louisville before the second game of a series against the Nationals. The 28-year-old infielder will make his major league debut. He split time between Double-A and Triple-A this season.