Rolen trying to find groove in injury-plagued season

Rolen trying to find groove in injury-plagued season

CINCINNATI -- At age 37, Scott Rolen knows his days in the Major Leagues are numbered.

That doesn't mean the seven-time All-Star wants to play any less.

The Reds' third baseman has been plagued with injuries throughout the 2012 campaign, and finally made his way back to the lineup in the final game heading into the All-Star break after missing a week because of back spasms.

Rolen also missed a month of action in May and June, nursing an injury to his left shoulder.

"It's tough because of the injuries here," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "It's tough to get going if you haven't played for a while. It's extremely tough. It's hard to just jump back in there and be at the top of your game."

Rolen is batting just .178 with 16 RBIs in 129 at-bats this season, never seeming to find a groove for an extended period of time.

Filling in for the 17-year veteran is a rookie, Todd Frazier.

Frazier, who can also play left field, came into the season as Rolen's backup, but has seen significant time at third with Rolen's injuries.

Baker revealed that Frazier was in the club's future plans, but also expressed the desire to keep his veteran sharp in the final year of his contract.

"We've got to play [Rolen] in order for him to get to the top of his game," Baker said. "But at the same time, I've got to be smart about trying to do what's best for Scottie and do what's best for us, too."

Frazier is batting .278 in 180 at-bats this year, chalking up 50 hits, nine homers and 29 RBIs.