Results tagged ‘ Jimmy Rollins ’
Why wouldn’t he?
He’s swinging one of the hottest bats in baseball. He took Jeff Karstens‘ 3-0 fastball and crushed it to right field for a two-run home run in last night’s 8-3 victory over the Pirates. Rollins is hitting .343 with 10 doubles, two triples, seven home runs, 18 RBIs, 21 runs scored and a 1.043 OPS in 25 games since May 28. He is 12th in the big leagues in hitting in that span. He is tied for third in doubles and runs scored, tied for eighth in homers, ninth in slugging percentage (.664), 11th in OPS and tied for 15th in RBIs.
Rollins was hitting .224 with a .282 on-base percentage and a .276 slugging percentage on May 28. I said at the time that Charlie Manuel would/should stick with Rollins as his leadoff hitter — less than two months of a six-month season is not enough time to cost somebody his job, especially somebody who has had that job for the past decade like Rollins — but I began to wonder if that move would be just around the corner. Rollins hadn’t looked like the same player to me. But now he looks better than he has looked in a long time. Now, it’s only been a month, but he’s showing he can still be a dangerous hitter, a guy capable of carrying a team for a stretch. I’m sure the front office needed that reassurance after signing him to a three-year, $33 million contract in the offseason.
From Elias Sports Bureau: From Elias: Carlos Ruiz went 3-for-5, scored three runs and stole a base last night. Ruiz is the first Phillies catcher to score three times and record a stolen base since Bobby Estalella did it against the Mets on Sept. 29, 1996.
But some potentially good signs for the Phillies:
- While the Phillies rank 14th in the National League averaging 3.30 runs per game, they are averaging 4.62 runs per game since April 23. That is tied for sixth in the league in that stretch.
- Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco have swung the bats a little better recently.
Small sample sizes there — the pitching the Phillies faced over the last week is nothing like they will face this weekend in Washington — but they are worth noting.
Getting Rollins, Polanco, Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence going is imperative. While there has been endless talk about Ryan Howard and Chase Utley and how much the Phillies miss them in the lineup (and how it’s such a major blow to play without them), it has been the four healthy All-Stars that have hurt this offense the most. David Hale explored this over the weekend, but I wanted to take a look at the final April numbers.
Here is the difference in OPS by position from April 2011, when the Phillies ranked fifth in the league averaging 4.62 runs per game and finished 18-8, and April 2012:
Placido Polanco went 2 for 4 to raise his batting average to .254. The guy who was hitting .196 on Tuesday now has a higher batting average than Hunter Pence (.253), Shane Victorino (.241) and Jimmy Rollins (.216). That shows you how much those three have struggled lately, but it also shows you how quickly a couple good games this early in the season can spike a batting average.
Rollins, Pence and Victorino combined to go 0-for-12 in last night’s 5-1 loss to the Cubs. The rest of the lineup, excluding the pitcher’s spot, went 7-for-19.
Phillies No. 3 hitters are last in baseball with a .497 OPS. Their cleanup hitters are 19th with a .715 OPS. Rollins and Pence have primarily held those two spots, but a lack of production is a lineup-wide problem. The only two spots in the lineup, excluding the pitcher’s spot, that rank in the top half in baseball in OPS are No. 6 (13th with a .750 OPS) and No. 7 (fourth with a .865 OPS). Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix and Carlos Ruiz have hit sixth in 12 of the team’s 20 games. Ruiz and Nix have hit seventh in 15 of the 20 games.
Nix (1.052), Wigginton (.875) and Ruiz (.796) lead the team in OPS among players with 20 or more at-bats.
Here is a ranking of the lineup’s most productive spots in the order this season, based on OPS:
“Sometimes, there’s just no answers. We’re in that area right now where I don’t have any answers.” – Jimmy Rollins.
The Phillies came within one out from suffering their second shutout loss in four games (and their third shutout loss in eight games) in last night’s 5-1 loss to the Padres. After today’s series finale against the Padres, the Phillies play three games against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix and four games against the Cubs at home before hitting the road for six games against Atlanta and Washington.
The Phillies are in the middle of a stretch of 20 games in 21 days with 16 of those games on the road.
They are 7-8 this season, while the first-place Nationals are 12-4 and the second-place Braves are 10-5.
In the top of the second inning in last night’s 5-2 loss to the Mets, R.A. Dickey executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Josh Thole to second base with one out. Phillies first baseman Jim Thome tagged Dickey about halfway up the first-base line and nonchalantly tossed the ball back to Cliff Lee, who believed like everybody else at Citizens Bank Park the play had ended.
In fact, Rollins motioned for Thole that he did not need to slide as he reached second base, which is something he has done since he reached the big leagues whenever there is no play at the base.
“Nice hit,” Thole told Rollins as he reached second, referring to Rollins’ first-inning double.
“Thanks,” Rollins replied.
Then Thole inexplicably turned around and walked back to first base.
The Phillies had opportunities to score last night, but couldn’t come through in a 5-2 loss to the Mets.
The Phillies have scored two or fewer runs in four of their seven games.
You can make the argument right now that Freddy Galvis is the team’s hottest hitter. Since he started his career 0-for-12, he is hitting .416 (5-for-12) with two doubles, one home run and five RBIs. Hunter Pence is hitting .421 (8-for-19) with two doubles, one home run and three RBIs in his last five games. Jimmy Rollins is hitting .471 (8-for-17) with one double and one RBI. Galvis has more RBIs than Pence and more extra-base hits than Rollins.
The Phillies’ 2.86 runs per game average is 28th in baseball. Their 13 extra-base hits are 29th. Their .633 OPS is 24th.
Jonathan Papelbon said he is going to choose a different song every time he enters the game at Citizens Bank Park. He entered to Alice in Chains’ “Man in the Box” in a non-save situation Monday. He entered to Marilyn Manson’s “Antichrist Superstar” in a save situation Thursday. Papelbon is trending toward scarier and scarier music. Hide your children!
Galvis, Jim Thome and Ty Wigginton still have not requested any walk-up music, but a couple players already have changed their tunes. John Mayberry Jr. chose “Cashin’ Out” by Cash Out. Laynce Nix dropped Avicii for “Gotta Have It” by Jay-Z and Kanye West. Brian Schneider has “Bangarang” by Skrillex and “Knock Knock” by Mac Miller.
I’m entering the press box these days to Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street.” It’s the hardest rocking song any of the beat writers have chosen.
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here. Here are our upcoming book signings:
- April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.
- April 29: Citizens Bank Park, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
- May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.
- June 2: Citizens Bank Park, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
That’s how anemic the Phillies offense has been.
He has one hit and has knocked in two of his team’s eight runs.
Galvis has been getting a lot of attention since the season started. First, he is replacing Chase Utley. Second, he could not get a hit until the fourth game of the season. Third, the entire offense is struggling. All of a sudden a rookie second baseman who is keeping the position warm until Utley returns (whenever that is: May? June? July?) became the focal point of the offense. What are they going to do with this guy? They can’t continue to play him there! Why don’t they start Pete Orr or Ty Wigginton at second base? Can they make a trade? When is Utley coming back?!?!
I’ve seen some truly awful Phillies starts over the past 10 years. The Phillies are 1-2. Yes, the offense has been dreadful. Yes, the bullpen has been more than suspect. But it’s just one series.
Relax … for now.
“It’s three games into the season,” Shane Victorino said. “There is no reason to sit here and … panic. Do we want to be 3-0? Absolutely. I don’t want to be 1-2, but we sit at 1-2 and that’s what it is.”
“Anytime you open the season, you always want to win the first series, you want to win the first game, you want to get hits, you want to make big pitches,” Jim Thome said. “I think the one things I’ve learned over the years is that it’s a long haul. And we have a very talented club, we have a very, very good club. … Any time you play the first series, everything is always magnified. That’s part of the game.”
That said, the offense certainly hasn’t looked capable of hitting anybody, which makes you wonder how they’re going to handle the Marlins (Anibal Sanchez, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle) this week at Citizens Bank Park. But I thought Charlie Manuel made a very interesting comment following today’s 5-4 loss to the Pirates.
“I don’t want our guys to think we can’t score,” he said. “I think that sometimes when we bunt in situations, we send a message. I’m an offensive guy. I’m here because I’m an offensive guy. I’m a true believer that you get better because of confidence and the manager has to show that. We’ve got guys who have been good hitters in the past. We have to get where we want to be. I believe we’re going to score runs. It’s a matter of getting guys hot.”
2012: $11 million
2013: $11 million
2014: $11 million
2015: Club option for $8 million. If not exercised, Rollins has a player option for $5 million.
The club option automatically vests for $11 million if Rollins has 600 plate appearances in 2014; or if he has 1,100 plate appearances in 2013-14 and (1) he is not the disabled list at the end of the 2014 season OR (2) if he is on the disabled list at the end of 2014, a mutually agreed upon doctor deems him available for the Opening Day 2015 roster. His salary increases by $1 million if he wins the MVP in the immediately preceding season ($500,000 if he finishes second or third). Other bonuses: $50,000 for All Star; $1 million for MVP ($500,000-2nd or 3rd; $250,000-4th or 5th); $100,000 for World Series MVP; $50,000 for League Championship Series MVP; $50,000 for Gold Glove; $50,000 for Silver Slugger.
QUESTION: Are you happy this is finally over?
ROLLINS: Yes, I’m glad that it’s over. It’s good that it’s over for both parties. It’s an issue that’s been going on. Negotiations take time and both parties usually get a good idea where a finish line can be. It usually takes time to get there, but we got there.
QUESTION: Are you happy with the deal? You had asked for five years, and I also had heard you were unhappy with the pace of the negotiations.
ROLLINS: I never said that or even hinted toward that in any way. No, it’s not true. I wasn’t upset at the pace. I was glad it took a while because both sides were showing that they care. This is a business. There is a sports side of it and a business side of it, and the business side of it is always the most difficult part. Making sure that the numbers fit and the years fit and that both parties can be happy going forward is how business is. This is where we both sit and both parties feel comfortable going forward.
QUESTION: Do you feel you met the Phillies half way? You wanted five. They wanted three. But it sounds like the vesting option for the fourth year is easily attainable.
ROLLINS: That’s very accurate. The tough part is you’ve got to stick to your guns and they’ve got to stick to their guns. You negotiate. If I hadn’t started so high then we probably would have been looking at a two-year deal with a vesting option for three. People that understand business, they get it.
QUESTION: As long as you’re healthy you feel you will get that option?