Results tagged ‘ Jimmy Rollins ’
Marlon Byrd probably summed up last night’s 9-6 loss to the Braves better than anybody:
“For a fan it’s got to be a great game to watch, entertainment-wise. It sucks for us. We came out on the losing end.”
How it happened is incredible. The Braves carried a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning when B.J. Rosenberg served up home runs to Evan Gattis, Dan Uggla and Andrelton Simmons in succession to make it 5-1. Forty-four times since 1950 a pitcher allowed home runs to the only two batters he faced in a game. But according to Retrosheet, Rosenberg is the first pitcher in 100 years (and likely ever) to allow home runs to the only three batters he faced in a game. Records only go back to 1914, but nobody hit home runs before 1914 and relievers were not what they are today so it’s highly doubtful it happened before that.
The Phillies then scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 6-5 lead.
But then Jake Diekman, trying to close for the first time in his career, loaded the bases in the ninth before he allowed a grand slam to Uggla.
The bullpen started the game with a 4.35 ERA following a strong performance over the weekend against Miami. It left the ballpark with a 5.53 ERA, which is the third-highest bullpen ERA in baseball. Of course, it doesn’t help that Phillies starters can’t pitch past the sixth inning. Just twice in 13 games have they pitched more than six innings. Phillies starters are 22nd in baseball in innings pitched, but are seventh in pitches thrown. In other words, they are hitting the 100-pitch mark fairly regularly in the fifth and sixth innings and can’t go any further. And that exposes the bullpen.
(A MLB-leading 14 errors hasn’t helped, extending innings, too.)
Mike Adams is back in the bullpen beginning tonight, but it remains to be seen how much he help.
Asked this morning about Double-A Reading closer Ken Giles, Ruben Amaro Jr. said on the 94 WIP Morning Show that, “I think we have to think about it.” But Amaro also mentioned how Giles is still learning, how he missed time last season because of injuries and how they need to make sure he can handle the ups and downs of the big leagues first.
“We’re not afraid to bring guys up to the big leagues,” Amaro said.
In six scoreless innings, Giles has allowed one hit and two walks and has struck out 14.
Tony Gwynn Jr. singled and reached second on a throwing error with one out in the third inning, when Jimmy Rollins bunted Gwynn to third. It was a confusing move at best with Gwynn a good runner and already in scoring position. Rollins gave up a precious out to send Chase Utley to the plate, and then Utley struck out to end the inning.
The immediate reaction: Why would Rollins bunt there? No way the Phillies called that from the bench. It made no sense.
“[Rollins] thought there were no outs,” Ryne Sandberg said. “He forgot [Roberto] Hernandez led off the inning. He thought there was no outs. He was just trying to get the guy over from second to third.”
Jimmy Rollins is expected to be back in the Phillies lineup tomorrow afternoon at Wrigley Field.
Rollins, who left the team Wednesday to be with his wife for the birth of their second child, had been penciled into today’s lineup, but shortly thereafter got scratched. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg called it an “internal miscommunication” on the organization’s part.
“Everything is fine,” Sandberg said. “He’ll be good to go. He’ll get in tonight and be in the lineup tomorrow.”
Jayson Nix replaced Rollins at shortstop.
The Phillies never placed Rollins on the paternity leave list, which would have allowed them to temporarily replace him on the roster. But options were limited with available players on the 40-man roster. One possibility would have been catcher Cameron Rupp, who could have been used for pinch-hitting purposes.
He left the team today to be with his wife Johari in Philadelphia for the imminent birth of their second child. Rollins could be placed on the Major League Baseball’s paternity leave list as early as Friday. Teams have 48 hours to place the player on leave once the baby is born.
Players have up to three days of paternity leave.
“He had a reason to go today,” Ryne Sandberg said.
The Phillies played today’s series finale against the Rangers at Globe Life Park with 24 players. If and when they place Rollins on paternity leave, they would be allowed to replace him on the roster.
“When the baby is delivered we’ll go from there,” Sandberg said.
In the meantime, infielder Jayson Nix is expected to play shortstop while Rollins is out. Cesar Hernandez would only be played there in an emergency situation.
“He’s very steady, very professional, very polished infielder,” Sandberg said of Nix. “I heard good things about his glove, and after watching him take ground balls, he’s fundamentally sound. I’ve also been impressed with his batting practice, and his at-bats last night.”
It set a National League record for shortstops with 14 consecutive Opening Day starts for the same franchise. Cincinnati’s Dave Concepcion held the previous mark with 13. Rollins also tied Baltimore’s Cal Ripken Jr. for the big league record. Ripken started 14 straight from 1983-96.
“It’s cool,” Rollins said after a 14-10 victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park. “I don’t think too much of it. If I’m on the team, I expect to be out there.”
Rollins then hit the 200th homer of his career in the second inning, a grand slam to hand the Phillies a 6-0 lead. He is the 19th player in baseball history to have 400 or more doubles, 100 or more triples and 200 or more home runs in a career. Fifteen of the first 18 players are in the Hall of Fame, including Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, George Brett, Robin Yount and Paul Molitor.
“Oh yeah, I knew that,” Rollins said of the milestone. “I remember growing up going to Oakland A’s games and looking at the size of Mark McGwire and I was like, ‘I’m not going to hit too many home runs. I’ll hit a few, but I could play there (in the big leagues).’ Going back to that, I guess I proved myself wrong.”
Rollins’ next homer will be his 200th as a shortstop, as one of his homers came as a pinch-hitter.
Some wondered if Rollins would make the Opening Day lineup. He is on baby watch, with his wife expecting their second child in the coming days. Rollins did not travel with the team from Philadelphia to Texas on Saturday, instead arriving Sunday night. If Rollins’ wife goes into labor, he is expected to leave the team. Major League Baseball allows players three days of paternity leave, which Rollins used with the birth of his first child in May 2012.
“I stayed an extra day because I didn’t want to fly here and fly back if something happened,” Rollins said. “I wanted to be there. The baby let me go out there and play ball for a few more days.”
Mike Schmidt holds the Phillies’ record for consecutive Opening Day starts at any position, with 16 at third base from 1974-89.
They spoke for a couple minutes with Amaro concluding the conversation with a pat on Rollins’ back.
Amaro and Rollins declined to discuss the conversation, but they most certainly were discussing an ESPN.com report yesterday that said there is strong sentiment within the Phillies organization that it would be better served trading Rollins as soon as possible. It followed Ryne Sandberg benching Rollins three consecutive games last week and offering a pointed “no comment” when asked about Rollins’ influence in the clubhouse this spring.
Rollins said he isn’t bothered by the report.
“Because I can’t be traded,” he said before leaving for Dunedin to play the Blue Jays. “It doesn’t matter. I don’t care which way it is tried to be twisted or said, or if it is exactly how it was said, or even if it was said, I can’t be traded. It doesn’t matter. If I was tradable it may have weight because that means I could be moving soon. But I am not tradable and so it doesn’t matter.”
Amaro repeatedly called any suggestion the Phillies want Rollins out “silly” or “silliness.”
“Absolute silliness,” he said. “Jimmy Rollins is our shortstop. One of the ways we’re going to be able to win is with Jimmy being Jimmy. … We have no intention of moving Jimmy. We need Jimmy to play for us to win. It’s as simple as that.”
Asked if he believes Rollins needs to be a better leader or if that is an issue, Amaro said, “I don’t have any issues at all with Jimmy.”
It must be noted the Phillies have explored trading Rollins the previous two Trade Deadlines and again this past offseason, just like there are some that have grown weary of things like Rollins not running hard to first base, etc., so the idea the Phillies would trade Rollins at the right time with the right opportunity is correct. But Rollins has stated multiple times over the past year he has absolutely no intentions of waiving his 10-and-5 trade rights.
He is not going anywhere.
Rollins said he is not troubled that somebody could be trying to make him look bad.
“It might be a little late for that,” Rollins said. “That’s probably happened years ago. You’re persecuted long before the day you’re sentenced. You’re already found guilty or innocent by the people, so it’s a little late for that.
“Everybody wants to be loved or liked. But good or bad, right or wrong, people are going to love you and some are going to hate you regardless. You can’t change their opinions to swing either way.”
Amaro reiterated several times the Phillies need Rollins to play and play well if they expect to return to the postseason for the first time since 2011. But one thing that could be a distraction to Rollins is if he believes the front office doesn’t like him.
“Nobody, there’s nobody that is upset with Jimmy,” Amaro said. “Jimmy Rollins is our shortstop. I’m happy to have him. Like I said, we need to have Jimmy be as good as he possibly can be for us to win.”
Rollins had the worst season of his career last year. He said he isn’t worried the hammer is being dropped because he is not performing like he had in the past.
“That’s OK,” he said. “Am I coming off a bad year? Yes, that part is true. I’ve never hid from the truth. That’s OK. They can’t be harder on me than I am on myself. It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK. I’m looking forward to a great year.”
ESPN’s Buster Olney had a very interesting tweet and story today about Rollins, who was benched three consecutive games last week because Ryne Sandberg had a problem with him:
Sources: There is strong sentiment within PHI organization right now that the team would be better off trading shortstop Jimmy Rollins ASAP.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 18, 2014
Olney then noted, “Jimmy Rollins, of course, cannot be traded without his consent, because he has 10-5 rights.”
Yes, there are folks who have grown tired of Rollins. But then the Phillies also signed him to a three-year, $33 million extension following the 2011 season, despite no evidence any other team in baseball offered him more than a one-year deal. Rollins’ deal includes an easily attainable club option for 2015, which essentially makes this a four-year, $44 million contract. The Phillies handed him this contract, despite knowing his shortcomings, knowing they had Freddy Galvis waiting in the wings and knowing Rollins’ production had declined the previous three seasons. His .720 OPS from 2009-11 ranked 144th out of 181 qualifying players, and 14th out of 25 qualifying shortstops.
They committed big money to him anyway.
Two important things to remember here:
Jimmy Rollins spoke to reporters this morning following Ryne Sandberg’s interesting “no comment” yesterday, when asked about the positivity and energy he has brought this spring. Rollins has not played since Monday. He was in Tuesday’s lineup, but was scratched that morning. He did not play yesterday and he is not in the lineup today.
Rollins is healthy.
Here is some of what he said this morning:
Q: Why do you think you’re not in the lineup today? It’s unusual for a starter.
A: Yeah, I don’t know. You’ll have to go ask the manager. I don’t write the lineup.
Q: Do you think it’s unusual, though?
A: Oh, it is unusual. Yes, but I’m not going to try to second guess or predict or come up with a reason why.
Q: So yesterday Sandberg is asked about Freddy Galvis. He says he loves his positivity and energy. The next question is how has Jimmy been in that regard this spring? He gives a no comment. What do you make of that? Does that bother you?
A: Well, everyone is allowed to have their own opinion. It doesn’t make it right, but he’s the manager so he gets to have the last say.
Q: What’s your relationship with Ryne so far?
A: It’s good. We talk. Except for the last two days we talk every day. We talk about baseball behind the cage when we’re doing our hitting drills. I let people challenge me throughout situations and have fun. No one has a problem with that.
Q: When would you want to talk with Ryno about this?
A: Whenever he comes to me.
Q: Do you think there’s a method to this? Do you think he’s trying to light a fire under you or something?
A: I don’t know. I don’t know. There’s no fire that needs to be lit, though. Never has been, especially when things count.
Galvis went 1-for-2 with a triple, walk and RBI in today’s 6-5 victory over the Orioles in a Grapefruit League game at Ed Smith Stadium. Galvis has started at shortstop the past two Grapefruit League games, and is scheduled to start there a third consecutive game tomorrow against the Yankees at Bright House Field. Asked before the game about Rollins’ string of absences, Ruben Amaro Jr. said he is unaware of any health issues.
So is everything OK with Rollins or is he just getting a break?
“No, he’s fine,” Sandberg said.
Asked if Galvis could push Rollins for playing time this season, Sandberg said, “Freddy’s a guy that will get playing time at various positions. He’s a guy that I like in the lineup. I feel good about what he brings to the table. The biggest thing I like is his energy and his positive influence. His positive influence on everybody that’s around him.”
And what he has thought about Rollins in that regard this spring?
“No comment,” Sandberg said.
He memorably called the Phillies the team to beat in the National League East in 2007. He even maintained they were the best team in the division last season, despite an 81-81 finish, 17 games behind the first-place Nationals and 14 games behind the second-place Braves.
“With us being healthy, you know, they’re a second-place team,” Rollins said about the Nationals. “But we weren’t.”
But asked following yesterday’s 4-3 loss to the Mets if he still felt the Phillies were the best team in the NL East when healthy, Rollins said, “There’s a lot of talented teams in the division. The team that we had in the past definitely was. The team going forward, we’ll figure that out. There are a bunch of new pieces. We haven’t had that around here for a long time. I’m excited about them. They’re good, young players. Big eyed. A lot of hopes and wishes, it’s our part to make sure they come true. It’s fun seeing the energy and excitement every single day. The world is still theirs and it’s at hand. They can change it. I was that guy. Now it’s up to me, Chase (Utley) and Ryan (Howard) to make sure they do change it.”
The Phillies already have lost 84 games with seven games remaining. Anything can happen next year, but as the Phillies get further and further removed from their 102-win season in 2011, it gets harder and harder to picture them winning 90 games and competing for a championship.
Especially because at this moment you pretty much know how this team is going to look next season. The everyday lineup is almost set, although the Phillies have to resign Carlos Ruiz or find somebody to replace him. They also have to decide if Darin Ruf is going to be the other right-handed bat in the lineup. The rotation has plenty of ‘ifs’ behind Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. The bullpen has shown some promise lately, but the Phillies were feeling the same way about their bullpen at the end of last season.
The Phillies entered this season with countless ifs. If the majority of those ifs turned out OK, they could have competed for a postseason berth. But very few did. So is there any reason to think those countless ifs will be any easier to achieve next season?
First, he explained why Ryne Sandberg will be a good manager.
Second, he talked about possibly taking a job on Sandberg’s coaching staff.
But then he talked about Jimmy Rollins, whose .666 OPS is the lowest of his 14-year career. Bowa is a big Rollins fan. The two have a good relationship. One of my favorite Rollins-Bowa stories happened in the clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park in 2004. Bowa was walking through the clubhouse past Rollins’ locker, when Rollins’ blurted, “Hey, Bo, you’ve got to pimp that walk. Drag that back leg.” Bowa didn’t miss a beat and responded, “I’d like to see you drag that back leg across home plate every once in a while.” Both men laughed.
“Jimmy still has a lot of baseball left in him,” Bowa said Wednesday. “You have to keep the volume up. Sometimes he likes to lower the volume. The volume is definitely turned back up (recently). I can see a big difference.”
Rollins is hitting .385 (15-for-39) with two doubles, one home run, two RBIs, seven walks, three stolen bases and a .991 OPS in his last 11 games. It’s a small sample size, but it’s something.
“I don’t even know if they talk,” Bowa said about Rollins and Sandberg, “but I see a difference in the way Jimmy has played lately. Ryno hasn’t said a word whether he’s talked to him, but I just watching Jimmy and see a difference in Jimmy. … “(Rollins is) lucky. You don’t play on winning teams every year. To me, the mark of a good player is – what, they are 18 games out? – you still have to post up. It’s hard to play like that, but you still have to do it. It’s easy to play when everything is going good. He’s been very lucky. Even when I was here, we were .500 or above. It’s fun to play like that. When you’re 18 games out, you have to kick it in, and it’s hard sometimes.”