Getting Rest for Utley and Rollins

juan castro.JPGCharlie 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 numbers show Utley definitely could use more breaks throughout the season.)

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!


The Zo Zone is on Facebook and Twitter. His Phillies book “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” is available online, and at Delaware Valley bookstores!


What I would like to see Charlie do is rest Utley and Rollins about once every ten days or so. On the days that Utley sits, Polanco and move to second and Dobbs can start at third. On the days the Rollins sits, Castro can take the field. This will give the starters needed rest and also keep the bench sharp.

They really need to get the bench some significant play this year. Not just to rest the regulars but the get the bench players an opportunity to hone their game skills. Dobbs AB dropoff last year was significant and it showed in the numbers.

bjgumby: Polanco won’t be playing second unless there is a significant injury to Utley. Here’s what the manager has to say, from today’s Inquirer:

Manuel said he did not envision using Polanco – a two-time Gold Glove second baseman – to give Utley a day off. Instead, if Utley sits, it will be Juan Castro at second base.

“I’d like to be able to rest him like [Jimmy] Rollins or Utley,” Manuel said of Polanco. “I don’t foresee bouncing Polly around to second for like two, three, four or five games.

“Say Utley got hurt or something and was out for a long period of time, then, yeah, if that makes sense.”

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