CLEVELAND -- Activated Monday following a five-week stint on the disabled list, Reds third baseman Scott Rolen was hardly delusional about the state of his problematic left shoulder.
However, Rolen admitted that he was when it felt so good to swing during Spring Training.
"For some reason, after my fourth surgery, I felt like I was 23 and didn't have any surgeries," Rolen said after arriving in the visitor's clubhouse. "Now I don't know why that would happen in my head. That's exactly what happened. I felt good. I had range of motion. I had results and everything was going good. When I started going down the wrong path and was struggling with my health, was I really surprised? And I was."
Rolen immediately made his presence felt, hitting RBI singles in his first two at-bats against the Indians on Monday.
Rolen batted .174 in 29 games before being placed on the DL May 12 with a strained left shoulder. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, the Reds optioned utility player Kristopher Negron to Triple-A Louisville.
That's where Rolen was during a rehab assignment on Friday and Saturday. He was 2-for-6 in those two games, including a three-run home run on Saturday. The 37-year-old knows that his shoulder will continually require extra attention, but he didn't plan on dwelling on it.
"We know everything there is to know about it," Rolen said. "We can count surgeries or count whatever you want to do. What if I come back? What if I manage it well? What if I play? What if I contribute, play well and do good things? That's the side of it I need to look at. I will stay on top of it as far as managing workload and the number of swings."
As for the way he swings, Rolen has re-adjusted to putting his hands in a lower position than he had when the season started. He expects it will be less stressful on his shoulder.
"That's what I did in 2009 and 2010, and more importantly, I was able to stay on the field and play those two years," Rolen said.
To alleviate some pressure, Reds manager Dusty Baker batted Rolen in the seventh spot, which is the furthest down in the lineup he's batted this season. Cincinnati was 22-12 while Rolen was out, but his presence was welcomed.
"I told him he is icing on the cake here," Baker said. "He brings great defense, clutch hitting, leadership and great baserunning. Let's face it, nobody on the field has achieved the quality he has achieved over such a long period of time. This guy knows how to win and what it takes to win."
Baker to find spots for Frazier to contribute
CLEVELAND -- Reds rookie Todd Frazier started 28 of the previous 34 games at third base while Scott Rolen was on the disabled list. Frazier performed well and delivered several clutch hits to pick up the slack.
With Rolen being activated on Monday, Reds manager Dusty Baker has to find other places for Frazier to play. In the series opener vs. the Indians at Progressive Field, it was as the designated hitter.
"He's DH-ing today because he and [Chris] Heisey both have probably been our most productive pinch-hitters, which is what DH-ing really is," Baker said. "You're pinch-hitting four times a game."
Frazier, who entered the night batting .278 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs, can play all around the infield and both corner outfield spots. It'd be a good bet that he gets time in left field.
"Let us worry about the first three days first," Baker said. "Everybody wants to know the plans for next week and after that and the month after that. You can never have enough good players. If we didn't have Frazier to take Scotty's spot at that time, where would we be? He did a great job for us."
Stubbs expects to return from DL on Friday
CLEVELAND -- Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs, who has been out since June 5 with a strained left oblique and went on the disabled list Friday, planned to swing off of a tee Monday for the first time since last week. He spent the previous three days doing cardio and strength drills.
"I'll just kind of take it step by step," Stubbs said. "If hitting off of a tee feels good, then maybe I will take soft tosses. If that feels good, we'll move on to BP."
Stubbs is eligible to return from the DL in time for Friday's game.
"I hope to jump back in on that day," he said.
Masset to increase velocity in 'pen session
CLEVELAND -- Reds reliever Nick Masset, who has been out all season with a shoulder injury, expected to have his second bullpen session on Tuesday. Masset will throw 20-25 pitches, all fastballs.
"As long as fastballs feel good tomorrow, maybe we'll get to spin some [offspeed] stuff off of the mound on Thursday," Masset said. "We're making big strides right now. It feels good."
Masset has been throwing breaking balls on flat ground for a few days. On Saturday, during his first bullpen session at Citi Field, he threw 20 fastballs.
"The biggest thing was I was comfortable and the ball was coming out of my hand OK," he said. "I was at about 80 percent. Hopefully, we'll start climbing from there and let it go some more."
Baker expected to have left fielder Ryan Ludwick serve as the Reds' DH on Tuesday.
There were about four times the usual amount of reporters present for Baker's daily media session on Monday. However, the club said before the session there would be no discussion of Baker's very public feud with Indians pitcher Derek Lowe last week.