Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 8/15/12
CINCINNATI Scott Rolen was standing at his locker, fumbling with something on a shelf and when he turned around he was confronted by a gaggle of media. It seemed apropos that Rolen, fighting back problems this year, would have his back to the media. "Let me guess," he said. "This is another interview to ask me about the absence of Joey Votto. Obviously, we don't need him." And then he chuckled, knowing explicitly that the Cincinnati Reds do need Joey Votto, despite a 21-8 record during his lapse onto the disabled list. That's not what the media wanted, of course. They wanted to talk about Rolen's five-game absence with a locked-up back and his return to the lineup Wednesday against the New York Mets. And what a return it was. Rolen had a double and a home run off 15-game winner and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and the Reds won their sixth straight game, 6-1. Manager Dusty Baker thinks the same about Rolen as he thinks about Votto. He is wanted, needed and when healthy he is put to use. The Reds traveled from Milwaukee to Chicago on a bus and Rolen said, "We haven't pin-pointed the bus ride yet as the culprit," but he admitted the next morning in Chicago that getting out of bed would have been easier with a crane. "I did not get out of bed very well the next morning," he said. "It took me 15 minutes to get out of bed and that's not conducive to good baseball. You crawl into the bathroom thinking you aren't going to make it because it early morning, time to get up, and I couldn't walk." The thing about Rolen is that he endured a miserable early-season during which his batting average read more like a body temperature or a fifth-grader's math test score. Then, after the All-Star break he became The Real Scott Rolen. He hit .367 with two homers and nine RBI over a 15-game stretch. Then he sat in a bus seat and paid a stiff price a stiff back that cost him five games. "I called the trainer, Paul Lessard, after I crawled out of the bathroom and he helped me so I could at least move because my back was locked up" Rolen added. "That sets you back a few days. But with rest and a lot of work the off day (Monday) helped and I came to the park Tuesday feeling pretty good." About his surge after the All-Star break, Rolen said, "I found a little groove there. I was seeing the ball well and had a better approach than I had earlier. I've been competing better, up until my back locked, so I'm hoping to go in there and compete some more." Rolen missed five weeks in May and June with a sore shoulder and this is the second time his back rebelled. He was asked if it might be better for him to more closely monitor his playing time, take more time off. Rolen was adamant that it won't be necessary. "I was playing as well as I've played all year," he said. "And I was coming off a day off I didn't play that last game in Milwaukee. I was getting rest and feeling good. It was one of those things whether it was the bus ride or whatever. I had a freak thing in San Francisco (late-June) where I took a funny swing in the batting cage and my back locked up there. "But I'm not going to go down the stretch this season worrying about my back locking up," he said. On Wednesday, it appeared to be as loose as a pocket full of dimes.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Martellus Bennett thinks Rodgers is better than Brady?

Fairley expected to miss 2017 season due to heart condition

Cousins could get more than $30 million per year in free agency?

Charlie Sheen puts Babe Ruth trade contract, World Series ring up for auction

Miguel Tejada's home burglarized, suspect arrested

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nationals players privately grumbling about bullpen woes

Dwight Howard responds to those who think he's washed up

Report: Red Sox interested in Sonny Gray

Jermichael Finley opens up about lasting effects of injury

Lionel Messi has allegedly hid tens of millions of euros through his own charity

John McEnroe: Serena Williams would be No. 700 on men's tour

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker