Rosales hoping to stick around with Reds
Infielder getting starts with Encarnacion, Gonzalez out
MIAMI -- Jerry Hairston was scheduled to start at third base for Adam Rosales in Tuesday night's finale here against the Marlins. Then Alex Gonzalez suffered a strained left oblique late in Monday night's game, necessitating Hairston's move to shortstop.
So the 25-year-old Rosales got an unexpected start at third base in his quest to give the Reds a hard decision when regular third baseman Edwin Encarnacion returns in about two weeks from his left wrist injury.
Meanwhile in Cincinnati, it's still hard to determine how long Gonzalez will be out. He received a cortisone shot on Tuesday from team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek. Kremchek plans to re-evaluate him Wednesday, the team said.
Rosales went 1-for-6 in the Reds' 14-inning loss Monday night, putting a chill in his fast start as Encarnacion's replacement. He went 0-for-5 on Tuesday.
Rosales welcomed the extra swings Tuesday night and said he's focusing totally on the present, not the specter of Encarnacion retaking the third base job soon.
"I play like every day could be my last," he said. "Who knows what's going to happen in three weeks?"
Anybody who has watched him knows he plays as if there is no tomorrow. And he's become a novelty of sorts because of the extreme lengths he goes to hustle in everything he does. He invariably sprints on the field and off the field, to the point where several Reds beat writers have taken to dubbing him "Pete" after the legendary former Reds hustler, Pete Rose.
Rosales said he learned how to play that way as a youngster and just kept it up as a high schooler and collegian. Now it has become a conversation piece even for the opposition.
Rosales said he always hears "tranquilo" or "chill out" from some of the Hispanic players, all in fun. And the other day, Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche began quizzing him on how that got to be such a part of his game.
"A lot of guys question it," Rosales said. "I don't do it to show anybody up. See, a lot of guys did it back in the day. I look up to those guys."
He's referring to a time in baseball when the big money wasn't there and many players had to have offseason jobs to survive financially.
"They played hard every day," he said. "Then some of them worked in the coal mines and things like that. They just had a great work ethic."
Rosales is not going into coal mines any time soon, but his all-out style gives the impression he could handle it.
Charles Nobles is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.