Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Scott Rolen: the defensive wizard

Scott Rolen is an absolute marvel to watch at 3rd base for the Blue Jays. It's easy to see why the guy has been a 7-time gold glove winner, because he consistently is a phenomenal defender, year in and year out.

His majestic glove was on full display Monday against the White Sox. In the 3rd inning, he ranged to his right to pick up a sharply hit ball off the bat of Josh Fields, then threw it from his knees to complete rob Fields of extra bases. It was one of those plays that made you simply say wow. We come to expect these types of plays from Rolen, reacting at times like it's nothing out of the ordinary. The truth is, his leather larceny is otherworldly.

The added bonus this season is that he is feeling a lot healthier, and subsequently contributing well offensively. The power numbers aren't (and won't) be what they used to be, but Rolen has been solid at the dish, hitting at a .311 clip with 3 home runs and 15 RBI's.

I was not a fan of the Blue Jays/Cardinals swap of Rolen/Troy Glaus deal when it was made two years ago, but with the creaky Glaus breaking down, and with Rolen swinging a decent stick to go along with his customary exceptional defense, it's looking more and more that the Jays plucked a gem away from the St. Louis Cardinals.

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