On the clock with Matthews

General manager Walt Jocketty is not with the Reds this weekend in Houston and is back in Louisville watching the Triple-A club. Dayton watching the Class A club.

Jocketty has a decision to make about Gary Matthews Jr., who has a deadline looming on Saturday.

If the Reds don’t call him up by then, Matthews can opt out of his contract and become a free agent. Manager Dusty Baker did not have any answers when asked about Matthews’ status. Baker has a long time friendship with the Matthews family — both Gary Sr. and Gary Jr.

“It depends how he fits into things right now, if he’s better than who we have already or do we ask him to extend that or if he has somewhere else to go,” Baker said. “There are a lot of questions here. If it doesn’t fit right now, I’d prefer he’d play some more.

“I hope he stays even if it doesn’t fit right now. You never know if there’s an injury, or what’s going to happen down the stretch. This isn’t only a move for this year for him. It’s a continuing career move for him too – if not here than somewhere else. He hasn’t asked anything of me either.”

Matthews signed with the Reds on June 24. Baker said he stayed away from involvement in the process and has only talked to Matthews Jr. once since he joined Louisville.

Latest on Rolen–

*Scott Rolen is out for the seventh-straight day because of a sore right hamstring. Rolen was evaluated by the trainers this afternoon.But he has appeared to turn the corner somewhat.

“He hit really well in the cage,” head trainer Paul Lessard said on Friday. “The past couple of days, it bothered him just to pivot on his back foot. He’s making strides.”

While the Reds took their regular BP on the field, Rolen took groundballs.

The Reds have held out as long as possible to not DL Rolen and haven’t targeted a return date yet. If he can come within a day or two, it would beat missing him for almost another week on DL time. He can always be backdated if he had a setback before returning.

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