How Will Benching Help Rollins?

Posted by Amanda Orr, Mon, June 29, 2009 10:00 AM | Comments: 76
Posts, Raising Questions

Jimmy RollinsAfter being benched for four straight games, Jimmy Rollins will be back in the starting lineup on Tuesday. Instead of giving Rollins a double-whammy by moving him down in the batting order, Rollins will return as the lead-off hitter.

Rollins has been struggling all season long, showing no signs of coming out of his slump. He has had some success when moved down in the lineup, however Charlie Manuel insisted that Rollins is the Phillies lead-off man and that he needed time to clear his mind and start fresh.

Manuel told Rollins he did not need to take batting practice.  Rollins shagged fly balls on the first day, hit in the cages on the second day, and fielded grounders on the fourth day.

Manuel and Rollins have had numerous and long conversations, but Rollins has declined to comment publicly on the situation.

“I think it [helped him],”  Manuel said. “That’s why I wanted to do it. I think it’s going to help. We’ll see the way he performs and the way he goes about playing.”

From the information gathered, it doesn’t appear Rollins studied film, or focused on fixing his mechanics.  The benching served as a mental break more than anything.  Charlie Manuel knows his players, but how will the benching help Rollins?

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About Amanda Orr

Amanda Orr has written 713 articles on Phillies Nation.

Amanda has been writing for Phillies Nation since 2009.

  • Posts: 0 Louis

    prediction: he goes 1-1 before flying out on the third pitch. please figure it out jimmy.

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    I’m really starting to think Jimmy has an anxiety/depression problem. He hasn’t been himself all season, doesn’t seem to be enjoying the game anymore. If you watch him closely, he hardly ever smiles, has a far away look in his eyes, he’s just not the Jimmy Rollins of past seasons. I’ve dealt with someone close to me suffering from this, and Jimmy’s behavior seems all too familiar, it’s tough to understand what they’re going through, and there’s not much you can do to help.

    I certainly have no facts to support this theory, but I think it’s pretty obvious his problem isn’t physical, and his demeanor this season has been out of character for the usually happy Jimmy.

  • Posts: 0 Matthew

    You know, it is easy to be pessimistic in a situation like this. I have good reason to be optimistic. None of you would accept this from Charlie without the recent validity of a World Championship. I know for a fact that Charlie and Jimmy have an excellent relationship and keep the line of communication open always. He is currently on pace for his lowest amount of hits since playing a complete year in the big leagues and his batting average shows that. Jimmy is still a remarkable player and can turn this around. He may never have another year like 2007… but the man is not done. He is fine and he needed a break… we all need a break. If we were playing at home on Tuesday, I would encourage everyone to give the man a standing O in his first at bat back at the plate. Hopefully we will take the time cheer him on from living room and sports bars.

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    Jimmy, let me give you a tip or two, from a non baseball player:

    1. Look at the first pitch – always. Without exception. For about a week. Watch Chase. Get in a hitters count.

    2. Bunt a little. Unless you don’t know how.

    Good luck, baby. We need ya.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Albert

    It really is discouraging. I am not optimistic this time off will help him.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Let’s go J-Roll. The Phillies need you.

  • Posts: 0 DHall

    Jimmy will not figure himself out until he accepts the fact that he is not a home run hitter and learns how to be a leadoff hitter.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Maybe it could help him NOT suck, because at this point, they can go find someone who plays good defense and cant hit but makes much less than 8-9M per year.


    I think the break will do JRoll some good. The team played till November last year, then he was right back at it for the WBC. He played great for the U.S. while they were still in it, pushed overated Jeter to the DH. Braves/Mets this week should bring out the best in him. Now we go.

  • Posts: 0 Chris

    Sign Tejada.

  • Posts: 0 bsg

    maybe the motivation is just gone after winning the W.S.i mean how many times are you going to be able to talk the-talk and walk the walk, i just dont understands charlies stubbornness to keep him in the leadoff spot i know the choices for leadoff aren’t many but honestly at this point can shane or jayson be any worse than jroll , keep him down in 6th for a consistent time not just 2 games (oh he had 2 good games lets put him right back up top) you have to have him comfortable in the lineup and maybe right now having him 1st is just too much pressure for him, 4 days off or not, but i guess we have to wait and see how it works out

  • Posts: 0 Steve

    If the “mental break” makes him come back and hustle, I’ll be happy. The hitting will follow a shift in his mental toughness. When Jimmy plays aggressively, he makes things happen. Watching him jog down the line this season has been painful, given what he’s done in the past.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    I hope all knowledgeable fans will continue to provide the moral support that Rollins need and appreciate. The team needs his bat and his “gold” glove on the field; not on the bench.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Here is the problem. Its with Manuel. He is the manager. You move Jimmy to the 6th spot were he was hitting. It took the pressure off of him. The only two people in the world that thinks Jimmy is a lead off hitter are those two. This break only hurt the team. Eric B is horrible. He was horrible at bat and almost cost them in the 8th with his fielding. You need to dump him and bring up someone that can actually play at this level. Jimmy will continue to struggle. A year off and he will still struggle because he refuses to make changes. Lowe will kill Jimmy on Tuesday and drive him nuts. He tries to hit homers. He is not patient at the plate. Vic, Werth, Ultey, Howard, Ibanez, Rollins, Feliz, Ruiz, Pitcher.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Honestly, i can see why he has had some mental lapses in the field, and isn’t “hustling” after he hits a weak ground ball to 1st or 2nd, or a shallow pop fly. It has to be demoralizing that someone of his talent and caliber is struggling so mightily that his coaches and he, himself don’t know whats wrong.

    Hopefully the days off help clear his head and just let him go out and play baseball. The ONE thing that irritated me about the “benching” of Rollins is that they put Bruntlett in his spot. Honestly, yes Rollins should of been benched or sat, but to put Bruntlett in is laughable because he went 0-4 (Thursday) 0-3 (Friday) 0-4 (Saturday) and 1-4 (Sunday) so thats a combined 1-15, also with 1 error in Sundays game.

    As bad and horrific as Rollins has been this year, he is STILL better than Bruntlett and that is tough to fathom, basically since he is the RH Utility man off the bench.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Jeff, explain to me WHY he ISNT a lead off hitter? Just because he is struggling, doesn’t mean he isn’t a leadoff hitter. I agree he should be put later in the order till he gets out of his year long funk, but honestly, why all of a sudden is he not a lead off hitter? Because he doesn’t walk enough? He steals bases, almost to a perfect clip, he puts the ball in play, doesn’t strike out too much. I understand his average is horrific, but if he was batting his usual .276 (Career BA, aside from this year..counting this year it’s .274) would you and everybody else still say, “He’s not a leadoff hitter, should bat 8th, blah blah”.

    So is it because he is struggling this year that he isn’t a leadoff hitter, or has he NEVER been a leadoff hitter?

    He’s an aggressive hitter, much like everyone in the lineup aside from Ibanez and Utley, he NEVER walked a lot in his career, and it never seemed to hurt him till this year. He isn’t going to change all of a sudden into Brian Giles or Kevin Youkilis type eye at the plate.

    Might as well but Jason Donald in his place when he gets off the DL, hes raking in AAA, hitting .230

  • Posts: 0 MeatBalls

    Jimmy should have just been benched for one game and then be brought back into the sixth hole. He is way to valuble defensively to sit him out for four games. The lead off batter always gets the most plate appearances. Right now Jimmy just needs low pressure ABs. And most of all, Jimmy needs to sprint every where he runs – hammer down! It puts pressure on the fielder fielding the ball, the fielder throwing the ball, and the recipient fielder catching the ball. Three chances to force an error. Damn Jimmy, the one thing you have not lost is your speed. Get your game on brother!

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    He isnt a leadoff hitter because he cant get on base anymore. Leadoff hitters get on base anyway they can. He hasnt been able to do that this year. Therefore he cant be a leadoff hitter until he starts to do that again. Very simple concept. See, when your leadoff hitter cant get on base that means your team will struggle, which is what has been going on recently. He has to get on base, whoever it is, to be a meaningful offensive player.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    The most important stat for a leadoff hitter is OBP. Thats the main indicator of whether or not hes a good leadoff hitter, followed by what he does on the baseopads.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Geoff, you just answered my question, so because he is struggling this year, he all of a sudden was never a leadoff hitter and cant get it done??

    I completely agree with all of you that he shouldn’t be at the top of the lineup, put him in the back of the order to take some pressure off of him until he gets going, but to say that he can’t be a leadoff hitter is obvious because he is batting .211, but if he was batting his usual .276 (Again, career BA till this year), NO ONE would bring up this question whether he is a leadoff hitter or not.

    What made their lineup so good for the last couple of years is because they can beat you in so many ways…Small ball, long ball, line drive hits, singles, etc. Rollins can do all of that, he is struggling mightily this year, obviously, everyone knows that, but to say he isn’t a leadoff hitter, is BS.

    So when Howard Batted .200 to start off the last couple of years, did anyone say he wasn’t a clean up hitter?

    My point is, because he is struggling, doesn’t mean he isn’t a leadoff hitter. If he wasn’t struggling, their would be no talk of him not being a “leadoff” hitter.

  • Posts: 0 OZ

    The Little Guy – JRoll isn’t a true leadoff hitter because he doesn’t (at least when batting leadoff) have the team’s best interests at heart.

    A good leadoff hitter takes some pitches, fouls some off, makes the pitcher work and in turn, gives the next two batters (and coaches) more opportunities to view his body language, see the movement on his pitches etc.

    He also could stand to walk more.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    From 04-08 he has averaged 54 walks per season, 39 steals per season, 73 k’s and has batted .285.

    Okay he probably could walk a little bit more, but if you wanted somebody to walk more and see pitches…why not put Burrell, Abreu, or Utley up in the leadoff position.

    As a leadoff hitter, i want somebody who isn’t going to K, somebody who is going to put the ball in play, somebody that can run, and steal bases. Rollins does all of them and well, yet because he is having 1 terrible year, he all of a sudden was NEVER suited to do the job? That is BS.

  • Posts: 578 Brian Michael

    Avatar of Brian Michael

    Can you imagine this article written about JRoll?

    From the Washington Post today…

    With his first at-bat still 2 1/2 hours away, Willie Harris sat down in front of a laptop Sunday morning and searched for a way — even a fractional one — to boost his odds. For 10 minutes in the visitors’ clubhouse, he watched video footage of Baltimore’s rookie starter, David Hernandez.

    Maybe the visual study would help, Harris said. Maybe not. Oftentimes, preparation yields no immediate payoff. Baseball has too many coin-flip variables to obey any grand design.

    Still, every so often, the odds tilt just right — as they did Sunday afternoon in the Washington Nationals’ 5-3 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards. A new lineup begat a new leadoff hitter in Harris, whose patient hitting approach begat a 3-for-4 day that included a walk, a stolen base and a homer.


  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    To Jeff who is often negative without reason on this site. I wonder if you actually watched the game where the Phillies rallied for four runs in the 4th inning and won 5-4 yesterday against Toronto.

    In that 4th inning, Bruntlett made a key contribution with a sacrifice bunt that became a hit which loaded the bases. Bruntlett followed that with a beautiful take out slide at 2nd base to prevent a double play on Carlo Ruiz’s fielder choice grounder to third that scored a run. Then Victorino hit a sacrifice fly. Werth singled to set up Utley’s triple off wall in centerfield for two more runs. Never underestimate Bruntlett’s value to the team when given more opportunity to play. His scrappy play yesterday woke up and energized the team.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Would be great to see an article about how well J-Roll prepares for games.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    No you drop him in the order until he starts doing the things that you need a leadoff hitter to do. When he starts doing that again, then you give him his slot back….

    And im not negative without reason. All things have a cause.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Wow Geoff that might be the nicest thing you’ve said about J-Roll.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy


    Can you read?

    I’ve been saying all along they should drop in the order till he gets going but i’m disagreeing with everyone who says he “isn’t a lead-off hitter, and never was”. He is struggling, and that is why everyone gets of his case, yet go look at his career numbers at lead-off, more than capable of being a lead-off hitter.

  • Posts: 0 M.P. aka A.J. #54

    My message is to Jimmy and I know he’ll never read it, but I want to put it out there anyway (hey, you never know what they read): Jimmy, we need you and we know you can be great. Don’t worry about the media – don’t comment as you haven’t – just get out there and be yourself and show the nay-sayers that they are wrong. Smile when you get a hit and RELAX.

  • Posts: 0 beta sigma shag

    geoff you are the most negative person on this site, even more so then the dipster. And you want JRoll dropped in the order to 6 move Vic up to first, in a spot he has not done well in, how many hits does he have how many walks in the last four games, or in his career as lead off.
    When Raul comes back you going to have three lefties in a row or move Raul to 7th. Let me see they won two straight NL East crowns with a lead off hitter, and the won a world series with a lead off hitter his name Jimmy Rollins.
    So let him have his break, and lets just say the season starts tonight, same pitcher on the mound against him as opening day right? So Jimmy has a shorten season he is starting leading off tonight, and let’s wait and see, I say he has a great game tonight, 2 hits a walk 2 stolen bases 2 runs scored
    Overly optimistic but I hope you get my point.

    On another note any chance Wreth can stay in the two hole for a while he seems to like it bat Vic or Mayberry in the 5 hole (ok no one is scared of Mayberry now so he might not be able to protect Howard) but some other right handed bat in the 5 hole Feliz? I just think Jayson really likes the fifth spot. Or is it like Wheels pointed out that he dropped his hands more recently.

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    Wait a second…..Jimmy Rollins is NOT a lead off hitter AND never has been. Leadoff hitters are not free swingers. Leadoff hitters try and get walks. Leadoff hitters, with speed, know how to bunt and will bunt. Jimmy does none of these and never has. Good offensive player? Yup. Leadoff man? No. He should be in the two hole.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 beta sigma shag

    Jayson really likes the two spot is what that is suppose to say

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    And I’m not negative!

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 beta sigma shag

    Dipsy so there is only on way to lead off, no other way, man how did the phillies win with such a terrible lead off hitter on there team they should just trade him, they will never win anything with him leading off, oh wait they already have you are a joke

  • Posts: 0 beta sigma shag

    I should go back to the off season and see what you said about Raul, because I am pretty sure you were saying how he is a down grade defensivly from Pat, i am almost positve Geoff was not to up on the guy either in March

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Someone name me leadoff hitters better than Rollins…PLEASE!

  • Posts: 0 Mike N

    Little Guy-
    I’ve always thought Jimmy was really better suited as a #2 hitter, since his OBP is a bit low at a career .329 for a leadoff hitter, but he’s got a bit more pop than the average lead-off hitter. So it would be a better use of him to put him in more RBI situations. And at #2 his speed would still help at the top of the order.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    You may find a player better suited to play leadoff, ala Juan Pierre, but id much rather have Rollins who has hit .285 through his prime, has power, speed, and can hit. He may not walk enough for YOUR liking, but, with an MVP, SBs and a WS ring, why complain?

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    The reason Jimmy’s a lead-off hitter is because he’s a dynamic player, he’s not the prototypical lead-off hitter many have described above, but teams seem more preoccupied filling the spot with a dynamic guy than your Juan Pierre like typical lead-off guy. Unfortunately as Jimmy’s play has become more dynamic he seems to have lost much of his scrappiness at the plate, which could explain why he’s swinging under the ball instead of going with the ball and making the best of what he’s being given.

    Hopefully he’ll get back to it both offensively and defensively where he seems to loose his focus leading to the two prominent mental errors last week.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    This is what i think the lineup should look like through the 2nd half, thinking Rollins can turn the corner and get going a little.


    To me, that is their most potent lineup.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Plus, Rollins middle name is Calvin! I mean, come on!

  • Posts: 0 M.P. aka A.J. #54

    Little Guy and everyone – J-Roll is our leadoff hitter. I’d like to see him work walks though. Also, how can one be a free-swinger and work walks though???? J-Roll needs to get up and selective, but work walks or bunt his way on more. He needs to watch Juan Pierre and what he has done in 2009. Jimmy has that kind of talent.

    Oh, The Dipsy is not quite as negative as Geoff. I am an optimist, I want us to be fine. I also try to look beyond the surface of the comments. I am sure I am negative at times. I KNOW I am when the Met Trolls are on here.

    Cannot wait to go to the game Thursday though. The dork at Turner Field in the Phillies shirt is me. I am wearing my Lidge shirt, so he better not make me look like a smacked rear end.

  • Posts: 0 M.P. aka A.J. #54

    Little Guy – we think alike. Juan has been great in leadoff, but Jimmy is better WHEN HE CAN GET ON. There is they key. Juan is better at GETTING ON.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Pierre has less all around talent than Rollins, so he has done many different things through out his career to get on base and be productive. Drag Bunts, Slap hits, Walks, Patient.

    Rollins has been able to rely purely on god given talent. Rollins doesn’t need to drag bunts, or slap hits to get on base, he is a better overall hitter than Pierre.

    Do i want Rollins to start bunting, knowing that he stinks at it? No, i’d rather him rope a double down the line, or a single up the middle, instead of basically giving the opponent an out.

    Stop thinking Rollins is all of a sudden going to start laying down drag bunts, working the counts, or even change his whole approach. Why would he? He won an MVP doing what he does, by being aggressive, waiting for his pitch and hammering, not standin there, waiting for an inside pitch and try bunting it for a base hit.

    Theirs about a hand full of hitters ever that can lay down a drag bunt and beat it out. Just because he has the speed, doesn’t mean he can doit consistently, game by game.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    M.P. where you been man? I feel like you haven’t been on here in quite a bit?

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Brian, regarding the article in the Washington Post, Don M. and I got into a little tiff the other day about that very subject. I questioned what Jimmy does to prepare other than taking BP, does he look at video at all? Of course, as a loyal fan, we are not supposed to ponder these things, but I try to keep an open mind, and always subscribe to the theory that it’s never wrong to ask questions.

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    Hey Master Beta. F it then. Lets put Ryan Howard leadoff. Why not? You freakin genius. Let me ask you a question: What qualities do YOU think a lead off hitter should have? Answer me twit. Jimmy bats leadoff because there is no one else, and has been no one else, that was better than him to do it…not that he was a good leadoff hitter. Put Ibanez, Utley, Werth, Victorino at the top of that lineup and they’d all be better lead off hitters but then guess what? No where to put Jimmy.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 baseballfan

    M.P…”how can one work walks and be a free swinger too”

    that is very possible. Have you ever heard of Adam Dunn?

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Dipsy, when you don’t get your way, to you whine all the time or is it just on this site?

    How many MVPs do Werth, Ibanez, Victorino, Utley have? 0

    How many MVPs at leadoff does Rollins have? 1

    Aside from this year, he has been one of the top leadoff hitter and overall players in the league. Between him and Utley their isn’t a better all-around player on the team. Im talking offensively, defensively, and leadership.

    I agree Rollins shouldn’t thrusted back into the lead-off spot amid all of his season struggles, but when he gets it going and he will, he will be back in the leadoff spot, because thats where he belongs, and when he is on, the team looks completely different.

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    LG….I was insulted by whats his name…Beta whatever. My point is that Jimmy is a good offensive player but not a leadoff hitter. I want my leadoff hitter to get on base. Thats what he’s supposed to do. Jimmy can bat second. When he’s right he can bat third. Damn, I love Jimmy. If he has all this extra base power, which he does, he can knock some runs in with those ropes. Look, I just don’t like him in the leadoff spot and never have, thats all.

    The Dipsy

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