CINCINNATI -- Scott Rolen found out the other day he wasn't as sneaky as he thought.
During a recent game, the injured Reds third baseman tried to test his strained left shoulder with some swings in the cage behind the home dugout.
"I snuck in, looked around -- nobody," Rolen explained on Tuesday. "I went around the back way and had a bat in there, dragged it with me, no batting gloves, nothing, and a ball was already on the tee. [I heard] 'I thought we weren't going to do that.' It was [Dr. Tim] Kremchek of all people. I haven't even swung yet. I told him this place is bugged.
"It was a covert operation, around the middle of the game, so nobody could be around. I had it all set except for the doctor walking in. I took about five unauthorized swings."
And that was basically the extent of the baseball-related activity Rolen has had since he went on the 15-day disabled list April 24. The only approved activities he's done have been cardiovascular and leg workouts and playing catch with teammate Joey Votto.
"I could probably go out there and take ground balls, but it seems to come a little quicker than the other stuff," Rolen said.
Rolen will not come off of the DL on Friday when eligible. His sore shoulder had also caused issues with the muscles around his neck and upper back, but that has been alleviated.
"I'm feeling better. I have more motion in my shoulders," Rolen said. "I can feel this stuff [between his neck and back] letting go a little bit. It's giving me some range of motion and some relief."
At the advice of Kremchek, the Reds' medical director, Rolen started acupuncture and has already had two sessions. He had just returned from one when he walked into the clubhouse.
"I will see where it ends up. It's not going to hurt anything, I know that," Rolen said. "Hopefully, it's helping already. The point is I'm down right now, let's get our hands around it instead of taking the next step and wishing we didn't."