As you are well aware of, the Dodgers 2013 bench is problematic to say the least. It’s a collection of has-been hitters, aging utilitymen, a rookie catcher, and a certain starter who essentially fell from grace and now is a professional bench warmer. There’s not much power or speed with this said bench, and so when the free agent rumor mill brought Scott Rolen‘s name into the mix I thought it was all but a slam dunk for the 37-year old third baseman.
Even though Don Mattingly has said that Luis Cruz will start at third base, management seems to be wary of his ability to maintain the level of play which he exhibited last season. Jerry Hairston, Nick Punto, and Juan Uribe can all play third base, but none of those options seem exceedingly agreeable. None of the three can play first base either to back up Adrian Gonzalez which is a glaring weakness on the team going into Spring Training.
Scott Rolen has played nothing but third base over the course of his long 17-year MLB career, yet perhaps he could be a right-hand hitting counterpart to Gonzo at first when needed. Rolen has collected eight Gold Glove Awards, but all of them have been as a third baseman.
Last season with Cincinnati, Rolen played in 92 games and finished with a line of .245/.318/.398 with 8 homeruns and 39 RBI. Rolen, who respectively had a admirable career so far, is an aging veteran whose hitting and defense has been steadily declining. Sounds like a perfect fit for the Dodgers bench, right?
Rolen made $6.5 million with the Reds last season, yet he hasn’t made a decision to whether he wants to play in 2013 yet. Don Mattingly has reportedly spoken with Rolen, and I’m sure he explained that the Dodgers bench would be a perfect fit for him.
If signing Rolen means we can finally cut ties with Uribe, I’m all for it. Interestingly he would be one of a few Scotts in the Dodgers organization (including affiliates) along with Scott Elbert, Scott Van Slyke, Scott Griggs, Scott Schebler, Scott Barlow, and Scott Woodward. Holy Scott!
Anyhow, even with the addition of Rolen, the bench will be a weak part of this 2013 team. Just wait until Mattingly bats Nick Punto in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and the bases loaded.