09/07/12 8:22 PM ET
Rolen misses second game with back trouble
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
"I have a protrusion in two discs in my lower back, which are causing me trouble that we're trying to address right now with a few days off," Rolen told MLB.com.
Rolen has not had an epidural injection and is trying to get pain relief from anti-inflammatory medication and rest. He missed a handful of games with back pain last month, including the entire Aug. 9-12 road series vs. the Cubs.
"Since my setback in Chicago, I've been uncomfortable and not able to perform and move offensively and defensively the way I hoped to have by this point," Rolen said.
Despite being hampered, the 37-year-old Rolen has batted .314 since the All-Star break and .323 in August. But in September, he is 1-for-10 and batting .244 with six homers and 33 RBIs overall this season.
"Hopefully it will subside and be better by the end of the weekend," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Rolen's back.
Todd Frazier started his second straight game at third base in place of Rolen. Temporarily, Baker has a solution of where to play Frazier now that Joey Votto is off of the disabled list. Frazier was on a tear offensively while filling in for at first base the past six weeks, so there was anxiety over where he'd play when Votto returned.
"It always happens. Everyone wants you to tell them what happens next week," Baker said. "You can't do that. You don't know. You can never have enough pitching, can never have enough players and can never have enough anything without something. Something always works out, always. Sometimes you've got to let life run its course."
Stubbs out of starting lineup against Astros
CINCINNATI -- Even though he was given the day off on Wednesday and there was a scheduled team off day on Thursday, Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs was out of Friday's lineup vs. the Astros.
The slumping Stubbs still has manager Dusty Baker in his corner, however.
"I'll just leave Stubbs a couple of days to try to make some changes in his approach," Baker said. "Lack of ability is not the issue. He has more ability than nearly everybody in the league. Let's face it: as much as everybody gets on Stubbs, he is still one of the best center fielders in the league. That's a major part of your defense. We just have to figure out a way to get him more productive offensively."
Stubbs entered the night batting .220 with 14 home runs, 39 RBIs and a .287 on-base percentage.
In his last 15 games, Stubbs is batting .159 (10-for-63) with 27 strikeouts.
"As much as you hate to do it, like a parent sometimes, you have to let a guy hit rock bottom and then they're open for any kind of suggestion," Baker said. "We'll help him figure it out. Sometimes you have to figure out things on your own.
"As cold has Stubbs has been, this guy still has 71 runs scored. I don't know how the heck he does it. When he scores, we win."
The Reds are 46-6 in games when Stubbs scores a run. Baker invoked the name of a former Reds late bloomer in Edwin Encarnacion, who has 37 homers and 95 RBIs this year in a breakout season for the Blue Jays.
"Sometimes you don't just figure it out when everybody wants you to figure it out," Baker said. "Look at Edwin Encarnacion. It took him a couple of years, but he's figured it out."
Cozart remains benched with back issue
CINCINNATI -- A back issue has put Zack Cozart out of the Reds' lineup for another game on Friday. Cozart first felt back pain on Tuesday during what was a scheduled break from playing, and could not play on Wednesday vs. the Phillies.
"I don't even know what the problem was, but I locked up. During BP, something didn't feel right. I wasn't letting it loose," Cozart said. "I was hoping coming into Wednesday it would be OK. It still wasn't. But it feels a lot better."
Cozart came to Great American Ball Park for treatment during Thursday's off day. He went on the field pregame Friday to test his back out, but it apparently didn't go well. When he returned to the clubhouse, he declined to comment when asked again how he felt.
"It's something we want to alleviate completely," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's not like a sore ankle or knee or something. Especially being a shortstop when you have to rotate, twist, turn, jump, we want him for the long haul."
The start time for the Sunday Sept. 23 Reds game vs. the Dodgers has been changed from 1:10 to 8:06 p.m. ET to accommodate an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast. The Saturday Sept. 22 game vs. Los Angeles was recently changed from 7:10 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. for FOX national coverage.
Friday marked the 800th Reds game in the 10-season history of Great American Ball Park.