Getting Rest for Utley and Rollins
Charlie Manuel recently shared a conversation he had earlier this spring with Jimmy Rollins: Manuel said to Rollins that he might rest him a little more this season, and Rollins quickly replied, “Charlie, you say that every year.”
It’s true. Manuel says it every year, but every year Rollins and Utley are the lineup almost every day.
The topic has been broached a few times this spring because Manuel said Juan Castro‘s arrival allows Manuel to rest Rollins and Utley more often. Manuel said Castro can play both shortstop and second base. He can run the bases. He is not a great hitter, but he can handle the bat.
“He’s not going to do anything great (with the bat), but he’ll do everything pretty good,” Manuel said.
OK, but will Manuel really follow through this season and rest his regulars more?
“I think how we’re playing can dictate that,” Manuel said. “When we got up in the race we couldn’t extend the lead. We couldn’t put people away. If you have extended the lead a bit we could have started playing people more and we can give them a chance.
“I get two things. Most of the time people are talking, and I’m talking about people that are ahead of me. They say, ‘You have to play this guy more. You’ve got to give this guy some rest for October, blah, blah, blah.’ Then you look up and the same guy will tell you, ‘We’ve got to win today.’ What are you trying to tell me? All right?”
Updated: Forgot to mention that Manuel does not expect to play Placido Polanco at second base unless something drastic happens (i.e. Utley suffers a long term injury). Otherwise, expect Castro to be giving Utley his days off.
Thanks to FOX 29′s “Good Day Philadelphia” for giving my book a mention this morning!