Should Rollins Lead-Off?

Posted by Amanda Orr, Wed, June 24, 2009 02:30 PM | Comments: 54
Posts, Raising Questions

Jimmy Rollins’ struggles in the lead-off position question whether manager Charlie Manuel should move Rollins down in the lineup.  However, Manuel insists to keep Rollins as the lead-off hitter, a place he has hit his entire career.

Rollins is batting only .198 out of the lead-off spot.  His on-base percentage is .257, terrible for a lead-off batter.  He is also slugging a disappointing .332.

In games Rollins has not led off, he is batting .409 in 22 at-bats.  He has as many home runs in those 22 at bats (3) as he does in 273 as a lead-off man.  When batting sixth, Rollins is 5-for-8.

It isn’t like the Phillies have nobody else to lead-off.  Shane Victorino has experience as a lead-off hitter.

Rollins’ struggles are frustrating because we know the type of play he is capable of after having his MVP season in 2007.  In order for him to start hitting again, should Rollins be moved down the order?

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  • Posts: 0 pb

    No, next question. (that was easy)

  • Posts: 0 Albert

    This is a team sport a Rollins needs to be held accountable for his performance. He needs to be moved down in the order – no questions asked. It is past the point of a slump at this point.

  • Posts: 0 A.J.

    I listened to XM 175 today with Charlie’s weekly visit, and he brought up some interesting points:

    1) They only have two leadoff hitter types – J-Roll and Victorino. He is much less comfortable with Shane in the leadoff spot as Shane is more of a free swinger, however, in my observation, J-Roll is getting impatient. Charlie added he believes J-Roll is trying TOO hard right now.

    2) He believes J-Roll can hit any place, so moving him is not the issue.

    Not saying I agree or disagree, just listened to Charlie today. It was a very interesting interview. I am not sure what I think after listening…. I do think Charlie should consider leaving him lower for a week and THEN re-try it.

    Again, not arguing, just discussing.

  • Posts: 0 A.J.

    Albert and pb – I would have said the same ting, but it is more complex than that after hearing Charlie.

  • Posts: 0 The Dispy

    Well, Victorino is batting almost 100 points higher, his OB% is better, and he has more walks than Jimmy. So much for being a “free swinger”. Three months is long enough to work yourself out of a slump. I would not have a problem moving Jimmy to eighth. You can use his speed when leads off an inning. He singles, then he steals, pitcher bunts him over, Shane knocks him in. Jimmy should also giving bunting a shot. Either way, and no matter how you slice it, he is KILLING the O in the leadoff spot.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Yeah, Rollins should probably move down to take some pressure off of himself, but EVERYONE knows Charlie isn’t going to do it. So WHY is this question continuously brought up?

    Seriously, Charlie has said, “Jimmy is my lead off hitter, he has hit leadoff his whole career, and im not changing that now.”

    Not trying to sound like a d!ck, but to me, it’s not going to happen for a substantial amount of time.

  • Posts: 0 Eli's Dad

    This is why I will never like Charlie. I dont care he won the big won last year. He is stubborn and I am tired of it. Jimmy has the steroid juice out of his body. Its gone. He was hitting great batting number 6. He does not steal anymore. Get Vic in that spot. You are killing this team. We scored 10 runs last night and he was 0-5 with a grin after that last k. Punk

  • Posts: 0 BS

    They tried moving him down then moving him back up a couple times already and it didn’t work. So I don’t think it’s gonna work if they tried it again.

    If it’s September and he’s still struggling and we’re scrapping for every win, then yeah by all means move him down. But right now? I think it’s more important to give him every chance to get going as our leadoff hitter. Fact is, we’re not gonna win the World Series if J-Roll is hitting .220 anywhere in the lineup.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Steriod Juice? Really Eli? Reallllly?

  • Posts: 0 BS

    @Eli’s Dad – Steroid juice? C’mon dude. You lost all credibility with those 2 words.

  • Posts: 0 Greg B

    Rollins has been broke, he’s been moved to 6th and for some reason, produced. Unfortunately, Uncle Chuck has been too quick on the trigger to put him BACK in the one-spot after a couple of decent games.

    I agree some patience with Rollins lower in the order may bring his bat back to consistent production.

  • Posts: 0 bull

    Charlie is stubborn and will not move rollins because he said so. My opinion that would be the best move for the team, you want your guys to hit and right now i think it is a mental thing with him in the leadoff spot if he is raking in the 6th spot. Plus it gives us the flexibility with him being a switch hitter not having 2 lefties followed by 3 righties. You want guys on base for the big bats, that hole by first gets so much bigger for utley and howard when someone is on and the shift is removed.

  • Posts: 0 Eli

    I do not know who is saying he is my dad, but this is going too far. Don’t bring my mom or dad into this. I am outraged. Just because I am a Mets fan does not mean that I am a bad guy. I am loyal like you all, I just hate the Phillies. I am sick of the immaturity. This just proves my point. The Mets will succeed and you all are so scared of us. We are the 2009 World Champs and you know it. That is why you all hate me. Don’t bring my mom or daddy into it.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Solid points bull, completely agree with your assesment.

  • Posts: 0 LH

    Charlie is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. (flipped Patience for Charlie in wiki dictionary).
    Yes, a move to sixth seems appropriate.

  • Posts: 0 Keystone

    If this was any other player on any other team he wouldn’t just be moved down in the order but sent to the minors with those numbers.
    I love seeing him in the field more than anyone and I want to see him succeed (he was my first round fantasy pick) but his bat is hurting the phils.
    Bench him, I did.
    The AL can hide a poor bat thats good defensively with the DH but we already have to deal with the pitcher spot.
    Let him clear his head for a week or two and use Pablo Ozuna.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Pablo Ozuna is suspened for PEDs.

  • Posts: 0 A.J.

    Like steroids make anyone a better player. I am against any type of steroid use, but the fact is that no steroids result in a loss of power and NOT batting average as with Jimmy. I believe Jimmy never was and is not on roids and as disappointed as I am with J-Roll in 2009, I would be devistated if he ever did them.

    I have no ability to play baseball now, and if I took roids I still could not play. LOL

  • Posts: 0 alcoholcis02

    absolutely, take away his lead off spot and he fights twice as hard to get it back. When he is producing put his first and when he isn’t give someone else a try. Keepin ol Jimmy happy is not our priority, winning games is!

  • Posts: 0 Albert

    If Rollins is still struggling in the leadoff spot in September this team has major problems. Charlie can not continue to put him at the top if he is going to be a cancer to our lineup – he needs to be moved permanently, and now. If he is moved and Victorino succeeds there is no reason to move Jimmy back up no matter his statistics. I could care less about stroking the ego of Jimmy, and he needs to get it through his head that his performance isn’t cutting it. You don’t hear Utley or Ibanez crying about how they are “3 hole hitters”.

    All that being said – I love Jimmy. I am no way proclaiming he is on the decline or off the juice. Jimmy is a streaky hitter, plain and simple. If this season long slump continues, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn he is in someway hampered by an injury.

  • Posts: 0 A.J.

    Let me rephrase that – if someone were to take roids, then stop, it would only result in a loss of power if the person did not maintain the workout routine, which roids aid the healing thereof.

  • Posts: 0 Keystone

    Damn. I didn’t know he was. OK move him to the 8th spot.

  • Posts: 0 A.J.

    alcoholcis02 – I never thought of it that way. I like you thinking. He will fight to get back with hits…

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    This is the easiest Phillies-related question in 2009…. The answer is a clear and resounding NO.

    I get this feeling that because just because he is “Jimmy Rollins” he gets to do whatever he wants. Move him to the 6th spot (even 7th or 8th)… I understand sticking with a guy through slumps… but this is definitely NOT A SLUMP…this is just bad, bad offensive production for 3 straight months!

  • So if Jimmy does turn it around soon, does Charlie appear to be a genius? I think its ridiculous its been this long. I have no problem with him being the #1 hitter, but thats after having him 6th for a while to get him hot. After that, then re-asses. Why is that so hard? Everyone but Utley and Ibanez is a free swinger in this lineup.

    Victorino in the 1 hole, its not hard.

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    Unrelated note, Flyers & Bruins outdoors Fenway Park New Years day 2010.

  • Posts: 0 mikemike

    who cares about hockey stupid game

  • Posts: 0 The Little Guy

    I’m pretty sure a lot of people on here care about Hockey. Anyway it has to do with the Flyers, so even if you don’t like Hockey, i think you would think it’s pretty cool that the Flyers are going to play outdoors.

    Grumpy old man, damn.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff of NoVa.


  • [...] are the numbers of very good major league player but not the MVP-caliber player Philadelphia [...]

  • Posts: 0 Jonathan

    I would like to see Rollins bat second behind Vic for at least a week or so. The problem with moving him to sixth is that its so far removed from where he wants to be–moving him to seconds still gets him at bats while relieving the superficial pressure of the “lead-off hitter.” Rollins is going to get just as much attention in the two-hole. And with his power-potential in mind, as dramatic as the leadoff homerun is, a homer scores more points with a guy already on base.

  • Posts: 0 Keystone

    I can’t find the interview right now, but just this past week Charlie was asked about moving JRoll and placing Vic in the top spot and he said it wouldn’t work because of the on base percentage.
    This year:
    Jimmy- OBP-.257
    Shane- OBP-.372
    Jimmy- OBP-.329
    Shane- OBP-.347

    Charlie has no idea what he’s talking about sometimes.

  • Posts: 0 Morris Buttermaker

    “The Mets will succeed and you all are so scared of us. We are the 2009 World Champs and you know it. ”

    Do they have parades when you win the World Series with Mets on Playstation?

    Also, I am currently working on my plans to go to Fenway for the Flyers game.

  • Posts: 0 Mark B

    Jonathan, I like your suggestion a lot. Vic – Rollins – Chase – Howard – Raul (when he comes back) as the top 5 in the lineup. Might work out very well.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Oh and let’s not forget that “Shane Victorino ran his hitting streak to 11 games last night, a burst in which he is hitting .415 (17-for-41). “

  • Posts: 0 Elis Mommy

    Eli, go back to bed… and back to your own blog, f@cktard.

  • Posts: 0 Eli's other dad

    Yes steroid juice. It’s obvious. He normally averages 12-14 homers a year then hits 25-30?

  • Posts: 0 pb

    I don’t get why if they “drop him down” it has to be to 6, 7, or 8. Why not 2nd? I’ve said it a million times and I don’t ever recall it happening besides maybe his first few seasons in the bigs maybe.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    That is true, I mean guys that have the “Super Year” and then crash back down to earth are going to be brought into question nowadays. Grady Anderson, Derrek Lee (55HR one year, then just back down to earth), etc. J-Roll had a super amazing year and now all of a sudden cant hit a beachball, cant run the bases anymore, etc. Somethings up with him, though its not fair to say he was using. But you can see how people might think that.

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Id still hit him 6th.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    If you drop him to 2nd, you’ll get double plays!!

  • Posts: 0 Geoff

    Im all about the Flyers getting in on that game. I think the ultimate outfoor game would be Flyers vs Pens at Beaver Stadium.

    Im all Flyer’ed up heading into draft weekend and free agency. Cant wait to see what shakes down. They need a good defenseman, preferably RH unless its Bouwmeester, and a GOOD backup goalie, and a 3rd line center who does what the 3rd line center is supposed to do: shut people down and occassionally contribute to the goal scoring.

    Lupul & Briere are the two guys that need to be moved, Randy Jones too.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Actually, as whacked as it sounds, our best leadoff man might be Chase. His OB% is over .400, he CAN run, he takes pitches. He just so happens to be our best three hitter. Would this lineup be crazy some night:?

    Chase Utley
    Shane Victorino
    Jason Werth
    Ryan Howard
    Raul Ibanez
    Pedro Feliz
    Carlos Ruiz
    Jimmy Rollins

    Jimmy DESERVES to bat eighth at this point because everybody, and I mean everybody, is hitting better than he is. If he doesn’t like it, tough noogies. Hey, the Yankees BENCHED A-Rod for a few games. I don’t like to put it like this but “hey, he’s still cashing his check, isn’t he?” Shed not a tear for J-Ro. He’ll be fine.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Actually, I’m not sure Chase’s OB is .400, but its pretty damn high.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 VA Steve

    Easy answer ……………. NO! He has not earned it at this point in the season. My guess is he is only going to continue to press out of the lead off spot, which will lead to poor results. I like him in the 6 hole, with Shane leading off. Werth or Utley 2nd, etc. But, get Jimmy out of the lead off spot now.

  • Posts: 0 A.J.

    Dipsy – Not bad, but if Charlie is not for Vic in first, Chase would never be considered.

    Werth could be another one when he is in a groove.

    If we had a need, I would LOVE to see Juan Pierre here in lead-off when Manny gets back. Only, we don’t have a need unless Pierre wants to pitch daily LOL.

  • Posts: 0 Miles

    I’m sorry guys but I will have to disagree with most of you. I think moving him down is an option, but not necessarily this blatantly obvious decision you all think it is. He hit in the 6th spot for two games. Two. Does that sound like a big enough sample size?

    So what happens if we move him down to 6 and he still isn’t hitting? Or what if Victorino struggles just as bad? Batting Chase at leadoff doesn’t make any sense. If he would have been hitting leadoff last night he would have had 1 RBI instead of 4.

    The whole equation is tough….but if we get to the All-Star break and Jimmy isn’t hitting Charlie can be as stubborn as he wants but he will really have no choice.

  • Posts: 0 Bruce

    Well, Charlie Manuel has the patience knowing his defending World Champions are in 1st place and the also rans showing no sign of life.
    He also know the formula for past success lies with Rollins as the offensive catalyst in the lead off spot.

    My question is to the hitting coach, Milt Thompson. What advice are you giving Rollins? There is an old baseball maxim that says when a hitter is struggling, it’s always a good idea to use the entire field. Let the ball get deeper and try to hit it to the opposite gap. Rollins must have that patience and discipline to do exactly that. Try not to drop your shoulder which creates an uppercut swing. Are you being emphatic with Rollins on such suggestions?

    I read of a scout (not named) who recently said, “He’s been trying to pull everything since the start of spring training. I’ve seen him get pull happy like this before, but not for this long a period”.

    Please, as hitting coach, get on Rollins and make him listen.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    A.J. – Juan Pierre’s OB is horrible.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 DeanH


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