Scott Rolen plagued by sore shoulder

CINCINNATI -- Scott Rolen raised his left arm to shoulder level, then stopped. That's as far as it would go on Saturday, a day after the Cincinnati Reds put him on the disabled list again with an inflamed shoulder and neck.

It's an ominous sign for the struggling NL Central defending champions, who are much better with their third baseman healthy and in the lineup.

"I'm not overly mobile right now, so something's got to give," the 37-year-old infielder said. "I'm not ready to pick up a bat yet. There won't be any swings for a while."

Rolen went on the 15-day DL for the second time on Friday. He's had problems with the left shoulder since 2005, when he injured it in a collision with the Dodgers' Hee Seop Choi and had two operations.

He missed the last month of the 2007 season because of the shoulder, and had it cleaned out. He went on the DL again in 2008 with a shoulder sprain.

Rolen had one of his best first halves last season, batting .290 with 17 homers and 57 RBIs. The shoulder and neck began bothering him in the second half, and he managed only three homers and 26 RBIs the rest of the way.

He was batting .242 with only five homers and 36 RBIs when the shoulder and neck began bothering him following a game Wednesday in Pittsburgh. It didn't get any better during the Reds' day off, prompting the Reds to put him on the disabled list for the second time this season.

Rolen said it's similar to the problems he had last season.

"I think it stems from the same thing -- the shoulder and the repairs and the whole works," he said. "It's probably down the same road, for sure."

When he went on the DL the first time this season, he got injections that helped eliminate the inflammation. There are no immediate plans for more injections. Rolen said surgery isn't being considered.

"I don't need a repair," he said. "I don't have a torn rotator cuff, I don't have a labrum that's torn. There's no tears."

The Reds renegotiated Rolen's contract after the 2009 season, his first in Cincinnati. He got a two-year extension and an additional $13 million. Rolen has base salaries of $6.5 million this year and next.

The Reds called up Todd Frazier from Triple-A to take Rolen's roster spot. Most of the playing time at third will probably go to Miguel Cairo, who has been Rolen's backup.

"This ain't a tryout camp," manager Dusty Baker said. "I'm trying to win games. Frazier played more outfield than third base (in the minors). Lately they've had him playing more at third base because of Scotty's situation.

"Todd's chomping for an opportunity. I've got to see how his total game is, but Miguel is very important to this equation."

Rolen planned to keep playing through the problem until it became much worse after the game in Pittsburgh. He said it's probably better to rest the shoulder and let it heal.

"I was beating my head against the wall, scratching and clawing to try to stay above .240," he said. "You try not to be result-oriented, but at the same time, you want to be productive and help the club."