Sandberg: Rollins Has Good Approach in Leadoff Spot

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Mon, May 19, 2014 10:30 AM | Comments: 13

http://media.lehighvalleylive.com/sports_impact/photo/jimmy-rollins-headshot-9ff3104f41942be8.jpgAccording to reports, manager Ryne Sandberg is very pleased with shortstop Jimmy Rollins in the leadoff spot. Rollins may remain the club’s leadoff hitter even after center fielder Ben Revere returns from injury. The inference comes after Sandberg complimented J-Rol after yesterday’s 8-3 win against the Reds:

“I like Jimmy in the leadoff spot. Right now he has a real good approach up there, as far as hitting for average, and he looks just real patient working the pitchers and taking walks.”

Rollins is hitting .262/.359/.428 with 5 HR and 5 SB. J-Rol’s plate discipline is the best that it has been, well, ever, as his .359 OBP would be a career-high should he finish the season at that level. Rollins’ fast start has made him baseball’s 24th most valuable hitter and the second most valuable shortstop.

Analysis: Sandberg noted that Revere was battling the stomach flu and was unable to play Friday and Saturday. After a solid first few weeks, Revere has played like one of the league’s worst regular center fielders. Among the 22 MLB center fielders with 140 PAs, Revere ranks 21st in fWAR, 12th in batting average but 19th in OBP, 21st in slugging, and 21st in OPS. 

While Revere has struggled, he still remains the Phillies’ best option in center, both short and long term. Tyson Gillies is hitting just .228/.301/.315 for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in center field and Revere’s career numbers outpace both John Mayberry Jr. and Tony Gwynn Jr. I do think, however, the Phillies should play the hot hand and continue to hit Rollins in the lead-off spot and let Revere build some confidence at the back end of the line-up.

Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 804 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

  • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

    I agree I would keep Rollins in the lead off spot

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    For the time been yes. Theres no other option right now.

  • Posts: 0 lefty

    I think Revere will start hitting again, but not sure he will ever be known as a guy that draws a lot of walks. So I agree that as long as Rollins stays patient like this, he’s the one best suited for the leadoff spot. To me the question then is- where do you bat Ben?

    • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

      8 or 9 is what I would do

      • Posts: 5160 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        You’d hit him behind the pitcher, seriously? LaRussa style? or just kidding.

      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        Yeah seriously LaRussa style exactly, get him to be like a second lead off guy… I would try that for a week or so and see how it goes

  • Posts: 0 Scotty Ingerton

    Revere is not only hurting the team with his offense. His defense continues to be a huge liability.

  • Posts: 0 TimC

    Hopefully Jimmy stays after it, though I wonder if he won’t come back down to his recent numbers for OBP. It’s a lot easier to get a hit when you’re hitting in front of Chase Utley batting .340 than it is to get on in front of a 2-hole hitter that could also end up being Ben Revere.

    Playing the hot hand, I’d set the following line-up for the time being:

  • Posts: 1190 Manny

    Avatar of Manny

    You gotta leave Asche batting 6th cause it’s working. Ditto for J-roll. Just move Revere to the 8th spot.. and with his speed he can easily get bunted over by the pitcher (if he gets on base, that is).

  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    I wonder if Gillies time here is down after this year.

  • Posts: 5160 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    @Schmenkman- enjoyed the quarter mark piece.

    • Posts: 835 schmenkman

      Avatar of schmenkman

      Thanks, Lefty, much appreciated. There’s lots of time for things to change by the All-star game, but based on what we’ve seen so far, Utley is hands down the most deserving starter at second base for the NL, and while Rollins won’t sniff a starting spot with the year Tulo is having, he is making a strong case for being on the team.

      • Posts: 5160 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Agree that Utley is a lock. But it’s gonna be hard to beat out a tough field for back up SS this year with Castro, Hanley, and many others. But the numbers clearly say Jimmy is right there. I saw a little of Desmond over the weekend, and he’s starting to catch fire. I’m not sure I remember a time where there were this many quality SS’s in MLB.

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