J-Roll Returns to the Top Spot

rollins makes history.jpgWhen the Phillies open a three-game series Tuesday in Atlanta, Jimmy Rollins will be back in the lineup for the first time since Wednesday.

He will be back in the leadoff spot, too.

“I felt it was very important to let him sit over there and kind of get a clear mind when I put him back there so he’s fresh,” Charlie Manuel said today. “He’s starting all over.”

Rollins is hitting .195 as a leadoff hitter this season. That’s last out of 44 hitters who have seen significant time in the top spot this season. He also ranks last with a .237 on-base percentage. His .289 slugging percentage ranks 42nd in front of the Mets’ Alex Cora (.275) and San Francisco’s Fred Lewis (.230).

Manuel has been speaking to Rollins — who has not commented on the four-game break — on a daily basis, including a long chat Saturday.

“I think it did,” Manuel said, asked if he thinks the time off has helped Rollins. “That’s why I wanted to do it. I think it’s going to help. We’ll see the way he performs and the way he goes about playing.”


All signs point to Triple-A Lehigh Valley right-hander Carlos Carrasco making his Major League debut Thursday in Atlanta.


Raul Chavez bunted in Brad Lidge‘s first test save situation since returning from the DL last week with a sprained right knee.

That didn’t sit well with Lidge.

“It was right out of the chute,” Lidge said. “I guess they probably know why I came off the DL, and they tried to test it. … I wasn’t real happy about that. At first it kind of pissed me off. I remember thinking that but then [thinking] ‘OK, runner on first base, one run game, you better get it done.’

“Honestly it’s fair. It’s not anything super cheap. They want to get a baserunnner. I just didn’t like it.”


Interleague Play is over. I’m sure the Phillies are excited about that. They went 6-12 against the AL this season.


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter.


Technically Todd, it’s “chute” not shoot, but either way, Lidge shouldn’t be whining about it. You’re supposed to take advantage of your opponent in whatever way possible.
Guys to to bat with battle armour and pitchers are warned if they throw inside. The game is screwy and players are a little soft.
Besides, Lidge has continually told us that his knee feels fine, so what would it matter if they bunted on him – unless his knee was still bothering him.
Stop whining and pitch.

JRoll should have gone in as a defensive replacement late in the game on both Saturday and Sunday. I am liking Bruntlett being on this team less and less every day. Pathetic excuse of a MLB player.

Lidge didn’t look very good on the both plays where he had to move off the mound (the bunt and the pickoff play). His pitches looked good though. I hope his knee is OK, but time will tell.

It boggles the mind why Eric Bruntlett is still on this team. There are plenty of bench options in AAA that could at least perform at the Mendoza line, and Bruntlett’s “ability” to field every position is massively overrated.

And I can’t think of one single good reason to bat the guy with the lowest AVG, OBP, and SLG on the team in the leadoff spot instead of the eighth.

Time to think of next year’s rotation. Either we will land a SP or we won’t for this season. We have loads of prospects suposedly ready for the big leagues. Let’s find out. Happ is a keeper. Kendrick didn’t impress, Bastardo probably goes to the pen as 7th inning type, Carpenter isn’t there yet (based on his one start) Time to see Carlos. IF they can’t help us next year, they may have to go to bring in someone who can.

jerusalem is talking like a guy whose team is 6 games out. It’s time to bring someone up who can help or make a trade – not necessarily to look toward 2010.

phylan: That just shows the dearth of talent at the big-league level that a guy hitting .150 still has a job.
Baseball people are a strange lot. They’ll continue to hit Rollins in the leadoff spot because they always have. What is strange is that when he is dropped to the 6 spot and gets a few hits they move him back to the leadoff spot in spite of his success further down the lineup. I don’t think they feel as though they have anyone else to hit leadoff.

I never quite understood why Charlie didn’t let Rollins bat 6th for a series of games especially when he had success. Once he has a few hits then move him back to lead-off. Plus Victorino isn’t that bad a lead-off. Also Werth wouldn’t be a bad choice either. He’s a bit more patient, had speed and power.

Muleman, You misunderstand. If we can use one of our prospects to get a SP this year, great, as long as that pitcher won’t be the next hamels (I would not trade Drubek, or Carlos). In any case, we need to see what we really have in the minors. AA and AAA players are supposed to be MLB ready within a season or two. If they wont’ be, they don’t help us and are more then trade bait. We obviously can’t use all the pitchers in AA and AAA in the rotation next year, no matter how good. Who to keep and who to trade, now is decision time

Let J-roll hit 9th. He’ll lead off just as many innings as if he was batting first.

Rollins needs to be dropped in the lineup if woes continue.

to respond to above post, Eric Bruntlett is versatile defensivley, he is a veteran major leaguer, he isn’t a Jimmy Rollins replacement – no matter how bad JRoll is playing.
Why would you bring a young player up from AAA or AA & sacrifice them sitting on the bench as a late inning defensive replacement or pinch hitter, instead of getting his needed everyday playing experience that will take him to the next level.

jerusalem: The leadoff spot is more about lineup construction than it is about who hits first in the inning. Bad leadoff hitters don’t contribute to what the guys behind them in the lineup do. “Setting the table” as it were.

I have no problem trading a prospect. If you have a good system you should be able to give up one or two, but that’s the problem. If you’re not willing to trade Drabek or Carrasco, you’ll only part with your “B” level prospects and that won’t get you anything useful in return. You can’t trade mediocre players and expect other teams to give you gold (or silver) in return. Put yourself in their place and ask yourself if you’d take a mediocre prospect for a proven major league pitcher who can win 10 or 15 games. You have to give up something.

Whom do the Phillies have besides Drabek and Carrasco that can legitimately step-in and be a quality starter? There are more “if’s” than “can’s.”

Muleman: We have a few prospects who may turn out to be very good big leguers in a few years. Carpenter, Bastardo, are two pitchers who come to mind. Mayberry, Donald, Marson are posistion players who come to mind. While we need help with pitching now, other teams may be willing to take a package of kids who will be ready in 1-2 years. Our farm system is pretty well stocked right now in OFers and pitchers. I’m confident of making a move by next season, but am not sure we can do it before off season as no one seems to be selling anyone who is worth getting

Jerusalem: Everybody needs pitching, and if they are “well stocked” you’d have to prove it to me. There are more suspects than prospects. It’s very difficult to judge how a young pitcher will adapt to the Majors. I’ve seen plenty of them in Wilmington who look like Cy Young winners and turn out to be career minor leaguers.

You’d better be sure of your catching situation if you’re going to deal Marson. I don’t like the way Mayberry plays left field, and unless he improves his defense he’ll be a liability out there.
Carpenter and Bastardo are still unknowns, and unless Bastardo can overcome his bad start, he’ll be a throw-in. The only young pitcher who has proven anything is Happ.

If you’re going to deal outfielders, be prepared to make longer term committments to Victorino and Werth.
The problem now is that the Wild Card has given mediocre teams hope. There aren’t but a handful who think they’re out of it, and the ones who are (Baltimore comes to mind) are already building for the future and aren’t going to make any deals. The Phils might be stuck until the end of July, in which case either they’ll right the ship or continue their downslide.

f_i_j I wouldn’t call either Drabek or Carrasco “the next Hamels.” Carrasco, by all accounts, projects to be a decent third starter at best in the bigs (not that this isn’t something we need). Drabek has a much higher ceiling but he’s no Hamels.
As far as trades go, I think the only sacred cows should be Drabek and Dominic Brown. Donald is blocked for at least a year or two anyway, and, as much as I love Marson, D’Arnaud (although having a bad season at the moment) has a higher ceiling and Ruiz/whatever scrub of the week Rube is in love with for no reason at all (hello Paul Bako) can fill in until he’s ready, in all likelihood. Michael Taylor I’m willing to part with since Dominic Brown is younger, has better power, and generally projects even better than him.
I certainly wouldn’t mind making an offer for Cliff Lee that the Indians would have trouble refusing, especially since he’s cost-controlled for 2010. He’ll probably be difficult to pry away though.

phylan: The Bako signing is an interesting question. What’s the point?
One of those outfielders is probably expendable, but I’d guess that the minors are full of similar prospects, and it will take a pitcher to get anything of quality – or at least something that’s going to help them in 2009.
Cliff Lee? I’d have to know why he’s been so inconsistent over the last 3 years before I traded for him. 5 wins in 2007, a Cy Young award and 4 wins this year smells to me.
I guess this is going to be controversial, but I’ll need to see more consistency and some year-to-year improvement on Cole before I start carving the Hall of Fame plaque. He’s the Ace by default on this team, just like Myers was before him.

Wins are meaningless for pitchers, though. Just ask Cole Hamels about that. Check out Cliff Lee’s peripherals ( http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1636&position=P ). K/BB, WHIP, and FIP (defense-independent ERA) have all been solid for most of his career. He would be a perfect fit behind Cole.

As for Cole, I don’t think anyone is talking about the hall of fame given how early it is in his career. But I don’t see what you mean by inconsistent. Despite a rough start to this year (which was chiefly attributable to a shortened preseason due to elbow problems), he’s been a rock for the last three years. The only problem has been that the offense only occasionally decides to give him run support.

Muleman and Phylan, the way I look at it is simple. We have a window of this year, next year and 2011 to win chamionships with this team. In 2012 we bring back 7 players from the current roster (baring new extensions) and amongst them are Coste and some of the middle RPers. In other words, we need to make it happen now! We have in the minors a group of pitchers. How good they’ll be is anyone’s guess, just like how good any pitcher we trade for, or get via FA is anyone’s guess (see Eaton, Garcia, and so many more failures). We also have 3 outfieders. We have need of 1 (4th OF next year and replacing Werth when he goes FA after 2010) We have DOnald, but don’t need a starting inf until 2012. If he’s not slated to be the utility guy instead of Brunlett, he’s useless to the team. we have 2 catchers in the minors, and a prety good young one starting for the team. We only need one of the guys fromteh minors. You put together the package based on the best scouting reports, expectations, numbers, etc, take into account what other teams think (someone may really like Donald as a starting SS for exapmple) and get the pieces you need in return. The purpose of the minor leagues is to restock the major league team with players. How they do that, via trade or by joining the team, is irrelevent, as long as we keep a top aliber team on the field every year. We need to stop looking at the trees and not seeing the forrest.

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