Results tagged ‘ Jimmy Rollins ’
A few thoughts on the Rollins negotiations:
- Most everybody roaming the Hilton Anatole lobby believes Rollins will resign with the Phillies, even the lady that sold me the $12 turkey sandwich yesterday. It’s just a matter of when.
- Rollins has been searching for a five-year contract, but I don’t see any team giving that to him. The Brewers? Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said yesterday, “We have nothing that suits our desires at this point for the financial situation that we have.” I’ve been told they would love Rollins, but on nothing more than a three-year deal. Maybe less than that. The Cardinals? I’ve been told they’re not really interested, or they’d be interested if they lose Albert Pujols, but would not overpay for him. The Giants would like him, but apparently don’t have the money. The Mets are not looking to add salary. So, really, the Phillies appear to be the only team really pursuing Rollins. That would seem to favor the Phillies, right?
- Here’s a question: say the Brewers offer a slightly better deal than the Phillies. Is there any way Rollins goes to Milwaukee? Listen, I’m from Milwaukee. I love it there. But some people like to call Rollins a “red light” player. He loves the limelight. He’s going to play in relative anonymity in Milwaukee. Summer and fall weekends in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are different than New York and Florida (especially if the Marlins sign Pujols). Interleague series against Boston are different than interleague series with the Twins. I’d have to think Rollins would miss that.
- The Phillies remain one of the best — if not the best — team in baseball. Rollins has said the opportunity to win is going to be a factor in his decision. The Brewers have a good team now, but they don’t have the money to throw at problems like the Phillies.
- Rollins lives in South Jersey. His wife is from here. He has relationships here. If he leaves he’s just a baseball player coming to a new team. He’s not J-Roll in Milwaukee or St. Louis. He’s the guy trying to make up for the losses of Prince Fielder or Pujols. It’s quite a different situation.
- Here’s my best guess when Rollins makes a decision: Monday or Tuesday. Why? Because the last two offseasons the Phillies have finalized deals with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee the week following the winter meetings.
Sources confirmed tonight that talks between the Phillies and Ryan Madson have ratcheted up, although it is unknown if the sides are any closer to a deal. ESPN.com first reported the Phillies making a “strong push” to keep Madson. FOXSports.com cited a source saying the parties are “possibly nearing an agreement.”
Ruben Amaro Jr. does not discuss contract negotiations, but he said Saturday he cannot afford to be patient and let the free agency process drag deep into the winter. If that happens and Rollins and Madson ultimately sign elsewhere, they could find themselves without suitable replacements.
“If Jimmy and Ryan are not on our club, then we have to make sure we have the most potential choices,” he said. “We don’t want to let all of our options slip by, so we’re going to be aggressively patient, I guess.”
The Phillies also have some interest in free agent closers Jonathan Papelbon, Heath Bell and Joe Nathan should they get the feeling they can’t resign Madson at a price they’re comfortable with. Papelbon and Bell are represented by Seth and Sam Levinson, who have a good relationship with the Phillies. The Levinsons had four clients on the 2011 Phillies roster: Raul Ibanez, Placido Polanco, Shane Victorino and Ross Gload.
This isn’t big news, but 148 players became free agents this morning. Free agents are eligible to sign with any team beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
The Phillies have seven free agents:
- Ross Gload
- Raul Ibanez
- Brad Lidge
- Ryan Madson
- Roy Oswalt
- Jimmy Rollins
- Brian Schneider
It’s tough to blame them. The Phillies have the best record in baseball, but have played like the Houston Astros since clinching the National League East on Saturday. They have looked deader than dead, losing six consecutive games and getting swept in their first three- or four-game series since Aug. 2010.
The Phillies have six games to play before Game 1 of the NLDS on Oct. 1.
“That’s definitely enough time, but we do have to pick it up,” Charlie Manuel said. “It’s time for us to kick it and get ready for the playoffs.”
If you watched tonight’s ugly loss you know Roy Oswalt pitched much better than his line indicated. He looks ready for the postseason. But the offense looks like it’s in the early stages of spring training. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley were a combined 0-for-36 with five walks in the series against the Nationals.
“I’ll give a bat to anybody that boos and if they want to go up to the plate and think it’s that easy I’ll be glad to give them my bat,” Victorino said. “We hear the frustration from the crowd. They’re deserving and (they have the right to) feel frustration, but as a player you can’t sit there and mope about it.”
It hasn’t helped the Phillies have been without Ryan Howard and Hunter Pence. Howard will be back in the lineup tomorrow night in New York. He will not play Saturday, but Manuel said he will turn Howard loose Sunday. Pence should be back Saturday.
Maybe that gets them going. Maybe the Phillies can just flip the switch.
Oswalt doesn’t sound like he’s a big believer in “flipping the switch.”
“I’ve seen teams with the best record get beat in the first round,” Oswalt said. “It’s really the hottest team going in. Hopefully the next six games we’ll turn it around and start playing a little bit better, but teams that are hot when the playoffs start are tough to beat.”
It doesn’t take a genius to know Charlie Manuel is worried about the offense.
The Phillies could have clinched the NL East last night, but failed to take advantage in a 4-2 loss to the Cardinals in 11 innings. Asked how frustrated he was about that, he said, “We didn’t do enough hitting tonight to get there.” That’s what we call reading between the lines. Manuel was asked how frustrated he was to have to wait another night, and he answered a question about the offense.
The Phillies have averaged 2.0 runs per game in their last eight games (Sept. 10-16), which ranks last in the National League. They’re hitting .205 (last) with a .261 on-base percentage (last) and a .324 slugging percentage (14th). This is not the best time to get into a team-wide slump, considering a lack of offense cost them in last year’s NLCS. But the Phillies have not had their projected everyday lineup together since Aug. 6 in San Francisco. And lately, they have been without Jimmy Rollins, who has missed time with a strained groin; Chase Utley, who missed time with a concussion; and Ryan Howard, who has not started four of the last 10 games because of bursitis in his left Achilles.
Maybe that has something to do with it. I’m sure Manuel hopes that’s the case.
The offense has been a tale of two halves:
- April – June: 4.01 runs per game (eighth in the league), .244 average (10th), .318 OBP (seventh) and .374 slugging (11th).
- July – Sept. 9: 5.41 runs per game (first), .269 average (second), .337 OBP (second) and .439 slugging (first).
Are they turning back the clock at the wrong time?
Keep an eye on Justin De Fratus and Joe Savery, who were called up last night. The Phillies’ bullpen has been a little rocky lately, so maybe they could pitch themselves onto the postseason roster. Savery is especially interesting because of Antonio Bastardo‘s recent struggles. Bastardo is the only left-hander in the bullpen, so if he is scuffling the Phillies might have to consider Savery as a second option.
Sad news: KYW’s Jack O’Rourke died last night after covering the Phillies game. A very, very nice man. He covered every spring training since I’ve been on the beat, which is how I will remember him — getting interviews from players in Clearwater and returning to one of the radio booths in the press box to send sound back to Philadephia. He always had a smile on his face and always greeted me the same way:
“What’s up, Jack?”
He was the only person to call me that. Thoughts and prayers with his family. He will be missed.
Three important numbers for you (if the math is correct):
- Magic number is 4 to clinch a playoff berth.
- Magic number is 11 to clinch the National League East.
- Magic number is 11 to clinch the best record in the National League.
Cole Hamels threw his third complete game of the season in last night’s 7-2 victory over Milwaukee. It was the Phillies’ 17th complete game of the season. It is the most in the majors since the Orioles threw 17 complete games in 1999.
It turns out this series between the Phillies and Brewers is relatively historic. Elias Sports Bureau said it is the first four-game series between NL teams leading their respective divisions by at least eight games since Cincinnati won 3 of 4 from the Phillies at Riverfront Stadium in the final week of August 1976.
The Reds swept the Phillies in the best-of-five NLCS six weeks later.
Jimmy Rollins got a kick out of the fact last night was the first meaningful game since Sept. 12, 2004, the Phillies were without Rollins, Chase Utley or Ryan Howard in the lineup. (Stat courtesy of Philled In’s David Hale.) We say meaningful because none of them were in the lineup in the final games of the 2008 and 2009 seasons, but those games were meaningless because the Phillies had clinched the division at that point.
“We’ve always had somebody in the lineup,” Rollins said. “Actually, knowing that before the game, I was like, ‘Wow, what is going to happen tonight, knowing that none of the regulars that you normally see aren’t in there?’ But guys are getting a chance to play, which down the road is going to be very big. It was fun. They did a heck of a job.”
Chase Utley is in Philadelphia, where concussion specialist Rob Franks will examine him today at Rothman Institute.
Utley was hit in the helmet with a pitch in the sixth inning in last night’s 3-2 victory over Atlanta. He remained in the game, but left in the bottom of the eighth inning after complaining of a headache.
“We think it’s very, very mild, but we’re going to be cautious with him, obviously,” Ruben Amaro Jr. said last night. “You don’t want to mess with the head.”
Because the Phillies will be without Utley, the Phillies activated Jimmy Rollins from the DL. He had been sidelined because of a strained right groin. The Phillies probably would not have activated Rollins until next week, but activated him in case of an emergency.
“Before you all get ahead of yourselves, I’m not playing tonight,” Rollins said through his Twitter account (@JimmyRollins11).
Should be an interesting lineup with Utley and Rollins out of the lineup, huh?
One possible lineup: Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Pence RF, Howard 1B, Mayberry LF, Ruiz C, Martinez 2B, Valdez SS, Hamels P.
Jimmy Rollins announced on his Twitter account (@JimmyRollins11) he has a mild Grade 2 strain of his right groin. He said he will be placed on the DL.
That means he is out until at least Sept. 6.
Placido Polanco said yesterday he expected to be activated today. No word on Polanco yet.
It’s just one start, but it felt last night like the Phillies were getting the band back together:
The Four Aces.
Roy Oswalt dominated in a 5-0 victory over the Nationals. His fastball touched 94 mph in the early innings and it averaged 92.2 mph for the night. That’s quite an improvement, considering his fastball averaged 90.9 mph from the time he hit the DL for the first time this season in early May and landed on it a second time in late June.
“He’s back,” Cole Hamels said. “I think that’s pretty much it. He’s back. When he has the velocity you know it’s game time.”
“The way he threw the ball,” Jimmy Rollins said, “vintage Roy. He had that little fastball that he shoots from his chest and by the time the batter swings it’s shoulder height. I was excited, man. His velocity was super. I was looking up and he was hitting 93 still late in the game. I was like, ‘Wow. And he was letting it go.’ You could tell he was confident in his back and in his arm.”
“His fastball had more life,” Carlos Ruiz said. “You could see a lot of swings and misses. The ball was moving (up). That was him, you know? He hit 93, 94. It’s good. You can see he was healthy. That’s the best start. He likes to compete, but when you’re hurt it’s hard. You could see it. He’s quiet, but you could see it in his face and body language. Something was wrong. He didn’t feel OK. Now I know he’s healthy.” <p>
If Oswalt is feeling like himself again – he had 15 swings and misses, 10 of them on fastballs – that is good news for the rotation and this team’s chances in October. Think about it. While most playoff teams will be debating whether or not to pitch their ace on short rest, the Phillies could have four well-rested aces pitching on regular or extra rest.
It would be a nice problem to have.
He stopped by FOX’s The Cleveland Show, where he did some voice work for an upcoming episode. Rollins kept the script to himself, but said Joey Votto and David Ortiz also did some work for it. They will be playing themselves.
Rollins said he got a look at his animated self, and thought it looked good.
“It was a lot of fun,” Rollins said. “I got to meet Mike Henry, who plays Cleveland. He was in there with me. It was cool. He was giving me a lot of tips. I’d do it again. One of the producers is from Philly, so she said she wants me to keep coming back. I have an offseason coming up. Holler at me, you know?”
Rollins said he does not know when the episode will air. But if you follow him on Twitter (@JimmyRollins11), I’m sure he’ll let you know.