• May 27, 2022

Absence Of Rollins Isn’t a Valid Excuse For The Phillies Hitting Woes

Throughout the Phillies recent offensive struggles, many have suggested that not having All-Star shortstop Jimmy Rollins in the lineup is one of the roots of the Phillies struggles.

Anytime a team loses a player of player of Rollins’ caliber, obviously the team will feel the effects of that missing presence. It has been hard to watch Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez fill in for Rollins throughout the season. Both Castro and Valdez are career backup players, and ideally will only be used sparingly.

So the Phillies have been forced to play a pair of mediocre shortstops for the majority of the 2010 season while waiting for Rollins to get healthy. Who is left to pick up the slack?

Well, let’s take a look at who the Phillies have left to work with. They have Placido Polanco, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino. Each player has appeared in at least one All-Star game, and they have a combined 10 All-Star appearances between one another. All of these talented players batting in the same lineup, and they can’t get anything done because the “sparkplug” isn’t playing?

Why do six well established players need a sparkplug to get themselves going? Just because Jimmy Rollins isn’t playing, shouldn’t mean that it’s now harder for these batters to swing at good pitches and drive in runs.

Make no mistake, the Phillies miss Jimmy Rollins. However, having Rollins out of the lineup doesn’t mean that the other stars should drag their feet until he gets back. This offense didn’t have problems putting up runs last season when Rollins barely hit above .200 for the first half of the season. They were still able to score runs in the first part of 2008 when Rollins was out with an ankle injury.

If Rollins can come back and stay healthy this time around, there’s no doubt he’ll make a difference. However, I think too many people overrate the idea that the lineup struggles simply because Rollins is out of the mix, and that when he comes back everything will just click regularly for the lineup.

When the Phillies offense starts to play consistently again, it will be because the players will have worked their way out of whatever individual struggles they have, not simply because Jimmy Rollins is in the lineup.

Denny Basens

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2 Comments

  • My guess…they need to put Polanco in the lead-off spot with Rollins out. While Polanco is not a base stealer. The Phillies would do far better psychologically if they consistently got on base with whatever lead off hitter can get them that.

  • it’s pretty simple..
    Chase Utley is killing this line-up and offense right now and has for about 6 weeks now
    He needs to be dropped down in the line-up and be checked out by doctors to see whats wrong with
    him (Knee,Hip..) Something is bothering him and how many times during his prlonged slump has he made the 3rd & final out of an inning making Howard having to lead off the next inning.. Way too many
    times..

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