Thursday, June 25, 2009

Time for J-Roll to Move Down

Jimmy Rollins had another spectacular game at the plate last night in Tampa Bay, going 0-4 and dropping his average to a meager .211 on the season. Rollins is in the midst of a 6-for-46 slump and not showing any signs of life, having gone hitless since last Thursday against the Blue Jays. Since June 1st he has drawn only four walks as the leadoff hitter for the Phils, his first walk not coming until June 18th! Are you kidding me!? Isn’t your leadoff hitter supposed to get on base? Isn’t he supposed to be the spark plug for your offense, to get things going from the top of the lineup? Shouldn’t he be drawing a few walks here and there? This brings me to my real question: Why does Jimmy Rollins have to be the leadoff hitter of the Philadelphia Phillies?

Let’s take a step back and look at Jimmy’s stats this season compared to the rest of the leadoff men in the NL East, less the Nationals:

Jimmy Rollins .211 .254 .328 .582 6 27 10

Nate McLouth .259 .340 .466 .806 12 45 10

Jose Reyes .279 .355 .395 .750 2 15 11

E. Bonafacio .240 .289 .290 .578 1 18 13

Look at the bolded stats – aside from Bonafacio his OBP is about 100pts less than the other two, SLG about 150 less and OPS 150+. I don’t care about the HR’s or RBIs, that’s not what he’s there to do. Jimmy’s job is to get on base and get his team going - the longer he spends in the dugout the worse off the Phils will be. Sure he’s secured that spot for the last 9 years or so, but maybe it’s time to mix things up. Where is it written that he must bat leadoff for the Philadelphia Phillies? Shane Victorino has proven he’s capable of filling in for Jimmy at the top of the lineup, look at his numbers: AVG .305 OBP .371 SLG .462 OPS .833. I think it’s a no-brainer.

I’m not saying I don’t want Jimmy in the lineup, just not at the top. I appreciate everything he has done for the Phillies in the past, MVP, Golden Gloves and the like, but I don’t see how that relates to the 2009 season. Jimmy Rollins has been the heart and soul of the Philadelphia Phillies for the last decade and will continue to be that guy into the future - I just hope it’s not in the No.1 position on the lineup card.


  1. I couldn't get the stats to line up correctly. I'm sure you guys can figure it out.

  2. Thats a tough one. I think Rollins always had the mentality of a guy wanting to drive in runs. Not to say he can't leadoff because the Phillies won a World Series and he won a MVP while leading off. Until he breaks out of the slump, I would drop him in the lineup.

    RHP: Victo-Utley-Rollins-Howard-Raul-Werth
    LHP: Victo-Utley-Werth-Howard-Raul-Rollins

    I understand putting Rollins at the 3 hole is questionable because the Phillies have one of the best in the game there but I think part of Rollins problem is mental and having him at #3 could shake him out of it. It also breaks up the lefty,lefty,lefty log jam.

    Chalie is a master tinker-er. If that was not a word, it is now. This way he will be batting behind guys who will be constantly on base instead of trying to get something started himself. Once he gets going, and I believe he will, he can be moved back to leadoff. The Phillies win when Rollins gets on base. The numbers above show why the Phillies are pretty mediocre right now.

  3. By the way, Bonafacio stinks! It's embarrasing he has better numbers than Rollins. He is a faster Abe Nunez with a much worse glove.

  4. Bonafacio is a loser. Rollins should be ashamed of himself for being anywhere near him on the stat sheet.

  5. I kind of like the idea of Rollins in the 3 hole. Utley can bat second, and either Werth or Victorino can lead off. I like Victo down at 6 though. He essentially is another lead off in the middle of your line up. Last year he was good down there at 6, and he can be even better this year when Raul comes back. I like Werth at the top of the order cause he draws a lot of walks and gets on base.

    I think Rollins in the three hole for a while would do him good. He has the power to hit there, when he is hitting, and he it will give him the opportunity to get some pitches to hit with Howard behind him. Kind of like when A-Rod came back from the DL and Texeria moved to 3. That broke Texeria out of his slump.

    Throughout Rollins' career he never did draw that many walks, or take a lot of pitches. It never seemed to bother anyone cause he was getting on base. I think when you are in a funk like Rollins is, its good take take pitches and get on anyway you can. Baseball is a funny game. Sometimes a cheap hit, or a bunt single can break you out of it and start to build confidence going forward. Hopefully this will be the case and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  6. How Rollins goes, the Phils go. Phillies 9-1 on 10 game trip - Rollins hits .405 during trip.

    2.70 team era didnt hurt either, I guess...