So now we're getting a little light shed on this Rolen issue. According to this, as has been the case before, the Jays didn't reveal the whole truth about Rolen going on the DL in the first place. His shoulder wasn't just tired, but Rolen was dealing with a loss of range of motion that was affecting his hitting. In his own words:
"Fifteen days isn’t going to bring my range back to where it was, but I’ve tried to make some adjustments while I’ve been out. About three weeks ago, a month ago, I was throwing some false positives out there because I wasn’t sure where I was and I knew I couldn’t get to the baseball. I knew I had worked as hard as I could work and I couldn’t get to the baseball. That doesn’t give you much confidence and doesn’t feel real good about your career. But I think I can get to the baseball now, and I’m excited about it. I’m excited about playing again."
So to deal with the loss of range of motion, Rolen adjusted his hitting mechanics:
"I lowered my hands and tried to take some stress off my shoulder from where I’ve held the bat in the past. I shortened my load [timing] a little bit so that my shoulder doesn’t go outside the range that I have."
Yeah, so this isn't the most encouraging thing I've read. I'm glad that Rolen thinks that he's found a way to adjust his mechanics to compensate, but it's clear that his left shoulder is permanently compromised and the loss of range of motion appears significant and permanent. It's certainly possible that Rolen can compensate partially by changing his mechanics, but it's still likely to adversely affect his hitting. I'm all for Rolen but this is distressing news given that the Jays are on the hook for two more seasons with Rolen and, worse, they have no one ready to step up and play 3rd base if he should have to miss extended time again.