(Busch Stadium) Arriving into St. Louis for the weekend series against the Cardinals, Nolan Arenado received some unexpected good news. Scott Rolen was being inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
“Cool,” Arenado said. “I’ve admired his game for a long time. He’s one of the greats to ever do it.”
The Rockies third baseman has actually studied Rolen, having the Colorado video guy install fielding and batting highlights on a scouting app on his phone.
“He was a low-starter, if the ball was hit he would start off wide,” Arenado shared. “I can’t do that but just watching his at-bats and I’ve checked out his numbers to see where he’s at and stuff like that. I know he’s one of the greats. Like I said, one of the best to ever do it. I’ve always admired him and had a lot of respect for him. I’ve played with guys who played with him and they all said great things about him–how he goes about things, he works his butt off, and he’s a great teammate.”
The respect is mutual. Although he acknowledges spending more time with his kids than watching baseball these days, Rolen was still very familiar with Arenado’s game.
“I watch instincts,” Rolen said. “I watch that he has a real good feel of where to be and when to be there. Last night, Yadi hits the ball down the line and he’s just there. He just makes a great play. That’s the big thing that I hope is not lost in the game as we keep going with a lot of the stats…analytics. I want to keep the instincts and the feel for the game. He’s got a real nice knack at the plate, instinctually to get the barrel to the ball and in the field to be able to be in the right position to make the play.”
Scott Rolen retired after the 2012 season and Nolan Arenado’s rookie season was 2013.
Much to Arenado’s chagrin, the two third baseman had never met–until before tonight’s game. Following the Hall of Fame ceremonies on the field, Rolen ventured over to the Rockies clubhouse to say hello.
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI