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Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Rollins’

Top-10 September callups of the last 20 years

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, September 01, 2015 01:00 PM Comments: 5

120312-darin-ruf-600Sept. 1 is one of my favorite days on the baseball calendar, as teams begin calling up new faces to help pad the major league roster. Historically teams may use the September callup season to give fans a taste of a top prospect ready to become an everyday player. Most of the time, though, it’s more conservative than this, as teams are usually hoping to add depth, or even protect a player from the dreaded Rule V draft.

The Phils are no different. While many of the Phils’ September callups have been for depth (especially between 2007 and ’11), a special few have been hotly anticipated. I went back 20 years to 1995 to determine the top-10 September callups of the last 20 years, focusing mostly on younger players getting their first taste (or close to it) in the majors.

So this isn’t a scientific ranking. More a combination of hype and production. Enjoy.

10. Cesar Hernandez – 2013
We were told Cesar Hernandez had outstanding infield defensive ability upon his first cup of coffee in midseason 2013. But it was in September that we saw his true range, as he started almost exclusively in centerfield. He did okay, displaying average-at-best ability in center while singling pitchers to death to a line of .289/.344/.331. He remains with the club today, starting at second base after the Chase Utley trade. His future remains a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

9. Vance Worley – 2010
Vance Worley made his major league debut in a July blowout against Colorado, but he had an extended stay in September, helping the Phillies give some rest to a pitching staff that cruised through a dominant 2010 campaign. Worley had a solid first start against the Marlins, then started once more, against Atlanta, twirling five shutout innings. Worley would become a great fifth starter in an awesome 2011 pitching staff, before being dealt to Minnesota for Ben Revere. He’s been a league-average pitcher, most recently throwing out of the Pittsburgh bullpen before being optioned to AAA.

8. Carlos Ruiz – 2006
While Carlos Ruiz had a cup of coffee in May (and July) of 2006 because of injury, he was brought up to the Phillies for good in September. Starting a few games, Chooch had his finest offensive run of the season, collecting eight hits, including two home runs. Ruiz would stay with the Phils in 2007 and beyond, turning into one of the franchise’s most revered catchers.

7. Gene Schall – 1996
Back in 1996 we had two major callups: Calvin Maduro and Gene Schall. Maduro, 21, pitched decently well, but his contribution was small. Schall – a 26-year-old Abington kid who went to La Salle High and Villanova – had a little more room to grow in 1996, getting 41 plate appearances in his September stay. He did well, too, hitting two homers, three doubles and a triple en route to a line of .306/.390/.611. I mean, that’s seriously good. Sadly, though, Schall was traded for Mike Robertson (yes, THE Mike Robertson) and never made it to the majors again. He had a solid AAA career, however, retiring in 2002 with 125 career homers at the top minor-league level.

6. Gavin Floyd – 2004
Rewind to 2004. Citizens Bank Park is glistening and new. Jim Thome is rocking homers into the seats. And the Phils have two surefire stars ready to reach Philly in Ryan Howard and Gavin Floyd. At just 21, Floyd was a big deal upon his arrival in Philadelphia in September 2004. He lived up to the hype, tossing a decent seven innings in a win over the Mets in his major league debut. He would move to the bullpen during his time in Philly, but return as a starter in 2005 and ‘06, all to pretty bad results. (Maybe Floyd was best known as the pitcher on the mound when Aaron Rowand slammed his face into the fence to catch a would-be Xavier Nady grand slam.) Floyd would find some success in Chicago, traded in the wonderful Freddy Garcia deal. Memories.

5. Darin Ruf – 2012
And it was on Sept. 14, 2012, that 26-year-old super prospect Darin Ruf got his first action in a Phillies uniform. After tearing up the minors with his power, Ruf started slow, but on Sept. 25 hit his first major league homer in a win against Washington. He’d hit two in one game a week later, ending his 2012 callup campaign with three bombs, 10 RBI, and a good line of .333/.351/.727. Ruf has been a mainstay on the Phils bench since then, playing respectably, but especially good against left-handed pitching (.291/.378/.518).

4. Marlon Anderson – 1998
Sept. 8, 1998. The Phillies are blasting the Mets, 12-3, in the seventh inning. Manager Terry Francona motions to 24-year-old Marlon Anderson. It’ll be his first career plate appearance, right there in front of a crowd of maybe 10,000 at Veterans Stadium. Against Mel Rojas, Anderson works a 2-2 count, then knocks it deep to right. It clears the fence. Marlon Anderson’s first career appearance is a home run. He’d finish 1998 with solid numbers, and would win the starting second base job for 1999. That year began with a sterling 3-for-4 day in Atlanta. That was pretty much his peak as a Phillie.

3. Ryan Howard – 2004
With the Phillies under .500 on Sept. 1, 2004, they opted to call up top prospect Ryan Howard, who was blocked as an everyday player by all-world slugger Jim Thome. Howard would mostly pinch hit through September, garnering just a few starts toward the end of the season. He homered twice, doubled five times and finished with a good line of .282/.333/.564. This, coupled with his solid 2005 season – during a Thome injury – allowed the Phils to deal Thome to Chicago and start Howard for good.

2. Bobby Estalella – 1997
Imagine a hyped catching prospect reaching the major leagues at age 21 as a September callup. Imagine him swatting two home runs late in the season, finishing with a 6-for-11 performance in three games at Shea Stadium. Then imagine, a year later, he’s called up and starts in Montreal. Second inning, against future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez … home run. Then, down two, sixth inning, against Martinez … home run. Finally, in the ninth, he leads off … a third home run. That was Bobby Estalella, 1997.

What you can’t imagine is the excitement on a 12-year-old’s face when this veritable child socks three homers in a game. “He’s the future!” I thought. Estalella never again matched the magic he sparked that evening at Olympic Stadium.

Yes, Howard had a more impressive September statistically, but when you hit two homers off a future Hall of Famer, you earn the spot.

1. Jimmy Rollins – 2000
Highly rated shortstop prospect James Calvin Rollins joined the Phillies in mid-September 2000, immediately making his presence felt with a triple, stolen base and two runs. He would only notch one more extra-base hit that year, but he accrued 17 hits in 53 at bats, good for a .321 AVG.

The 21-year-old became an instant fan favorite, proving the hype, and would quickly be penciled in as starting shortstop. Thirteen years later, would break the franchise record for career hits.

Rollins is the best measure of a September callup. He was given a chance to play everyday, made the best of it, and set the table for an outstanding rookie season. For that, he’s the best Phillies callup of the last 20 years.

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Utley to rejoin Phillies, will play when off DL

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Thu, August 06, 2015 10:41 AM Comments: 3

utley

Chase Utley was hopeful on Tuesday that he would be reunited with former teammate Jimmy Rollins before he skipped town following Thursday’s game.

“Obviously, we spent a long time together, but I imagine I might have the chance to see him on Thursday, or so,” Utley told reporters on Tuesday.

It appears that the second baseman will get a chance to catch up with his old friend, as Utley is expected to join the Phillies for today’s series finale against the Dodgers.

Whether or not Utley will play, or even be activated from the disabled list, has yet to be determined. Pete Mackanin, however, has already confirmed that the 36-year-old will see his fair share of playing time when he’s ready for action.

“I’m going to try and mix Chase in at second base,” Mackanin said. “I already had a conversation with Cesar to let him know that he is not a utility player, but it’s important to get Chase at-bats, [Utley] may play some first base, so hopefully three or four days a week I can get him in. We’ll see.”

To ensure Utley sees time at second, Cesar Hernandez will move around the diamond—playing some shortstop and third base to give Freddy Galvis and Maikel Franco some time off. He will also play a little first base for Ryan Howard.

Utley is coming off a solid showing in his last rehab game for Double-A Reading where he finished 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, and an RBI. In his three minor league rehab games, Utley went 6-for-13, and looks ready to get back to work at the Major League level.

The veteran has been on the radar of a couple of teams interested in trading for him before the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline—including the Cubs and Angels. Utley was batting just .179 in 65 games before landing on the DL, but he’ll be looking to prove that he still has some good baseball left in him when he returns to the Phillies’ starting lineup.

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Ken Rosenthal, Awkward Press Conferences, and Why The Phillies Are Stuck In Neutral

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, February 12, 2015 10:30 AM Comments: 81

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“Stuck in neutral”

Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal wrote about the Phillies in his column over at Fox Sports.

He started out with four hypothetical “awkward” press conferences–Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Cliff Lee, and Ryan Howard–asking the players about potential trades when Spring Training rolls around. These are all guys that the Phillies probably should’ve parted ways with by now. They know it, reporters know it, most fans know it. Heck, even the Phillies might know it. Here’s a quote from Rosenthal following the intro:

We’re talking awkward — painfully awkward. And unless things change before the Phillies’ first workout a week from Thursday, their offseason will look like a major fail.

Now, I think I disagree that the offseason will be a major fail if they don’t move any of those four guys before Spring Training. They did manage to make deals to part ways with Jimmy Rollins and Marlon Byrd, which was noted by Rosenthal. Those weren’t exactly blockbuster deals, but they were something.

But I agree that a failure exists with the Phillies front office. The failure, in my opinion, does not lie in the 2015 offseason. It has already happened. They should’ve moved Cliff Lee a long time ago. Ryan Howard, in my opinion, should’ve been simply released during the season last year. Jonathan Papelbon should’ve been traded for something, either at the deadline last season, or any time during this offseason. Only Cole Hamels was worth hanging on to going into 2015. The David Price trade at the deadline last year hurt Hamels’ value, and the free agent moves this offseason (Jon Lester to the Cubs, James Shields to the Padres, to be precise) didn’t help either. I think they’ll get some better offers leading up to the deadline, as contending teams realize that they need a starter.

But Rosenthal is right. Maybe the Phillies are being too stubborn, and maybe it’s doing more harm than good. Here’s what he had to say about it:

The front office’s stubbornness, though, appears to go even deeper, whether it’s Amaro or Gillick who is actually calling the shots. The Phillies refuse to accept that they might not get exactly what they want.

Can the Phillies fix their mistakes? Sure. But, as Rosenthal states, it would require the Phillies to loosen up and entertain some offers that might not be up to their standards. Unless something changes soon, things will only get worse. Here’s how he put it:

And good luck to the Phillies persuading their fans to buy tickets for a team that remains stuck in neutral.

Stuck in neutral. I like it. The car that is the Phillies is on a downward path, stuck in neutral, and Ruben Amaro Jr. is at the wheel. He still has time to turn that baby around, but time is running out. Tick, tick, tick.

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2014 Top Moments: #1 J-Roll Breaks Hit Record

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Wed, October 29, 2014 12:00 PM Comments: 18

We are finally at our top moment of 2014. This time, we look at when Jimmy Rollins broke the franchise hits record.

We all knew it would happen. Barring injury, Jimmy Rollins was sure to break Mike Schmidt‘s franchise hits record in 2014.

And he did just that.

IMG_3176.JPG

PHOTO: AP

Schmidt’s record was 2,234 hits. J-Roll notched his 2,235th on Saturday, June 14. He lined a single off Edwin Jackson in the 5th inning in front of 31,524 fans at Citizens Bank Park. The game was then delayed while celebrations took place. Schmidt came out and got Jimmy’s bat and gave him a hug. The entire Phillies team also came out to celebrate with J-Roll.

Rollins has been with the club since 2000, and is a potential Hall-of-Famer. He’s been the face of the Phillies for several years, and has given us countless memories. He provides a unique combo of power and speed from the shortstop position, and is an exceptional fielder. He won an MVP in 2007, and is at or near the top in almost every offensive category in Phillies history. This moment is more of a result of what Jimmy has given us over the years, which is a ton. If we did a countdown of top moments of the last 10 years for the Phillies, this one would still be near the top.

This concludes our top moments countdown. Hope you enjoyed! Here are the others.

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Writer’s Roundtable: What’s Surprising About the Phillies?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, March 24, 2014 02:04 PM Comments: 29

Chase Utley

Chase hasn’t done much this spring. Is that worrisome? (MLB)

Tweet a question, Win a prize!

Phillies Nation is asking our readers to offer suggestions for our weekly “Writer’s Roundtable” series. You can submit your question to Donald McGettigan via Twitter (@DonM409) each Sunday during the 2014 season. If your question is selected you will be the winner of a Phillies Nation Prize Pack and be entered into a drawing for a Shibe Vintage Sports Gift Card! Shibe Vintage Sports is located at 137 South 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (between Walnut & Chestnut).

Question: What has surprised you the most about the Phillies thus far in Spring Training?

Don McGettigan (@DonM409): The biggest surprise to me has been the lack of offense from Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard (hitting .211, .196, and .245 respectively). It’s not that I expected great numbers, or some complete rejuvenation, but I anticipated that the heart of the lineup would buy into the plea for better at bats from the coaching staff. The only chance this team has to contend is to get production from the 2-3-4 spots in the lineup, and so far the intended lineup just hasn’t shown anything worth getting excited about.

Corey Seidman (@CoreySeidman): The biggest surprise for me has been Mario Hollands, the Phillies’ towering lefty pitcher who wasn’t even protected in the Rule 5 draft, but who has a genuine shot to make the team out of camp. Hollands could be an X-factor this year because of his versatility. He could be a long reliever, a spot starter, or a LOOGY (Left-handed One Out Guy). Why not give that all-purpose role to a guy like Hollands who has a mid-90s fastball and some upside, rather than a Jeff Manship or a Sean O’Sullivan or a Shawn Camp?

Jon Nisula (@JNisula): My biggest surprise is the Jimmy Rollins saga. One of the best players in Phillies history is being treated like a villain in already one of the worst offseasons in recent history. Regardless of what side you’re on with the J-Roll thing, this is just a horrible way to go into the season.

Pat Gallen (@PatGallen_975): Actually, the most surprising part of Spring Training has been the absolute lack of any mojo or juice pertaining to the team. No one is talking about the team in a positive way. You might say that isn’t surprising given the lack of good baseball over the past two seasons, but it still surprises me.

That falls more on the players. Very few Phillies have given us anything positive to report. But what’s surprising is that normally a player or two will jump off the page at you in a given Spring Training by hitting .400, smashing eight homers, or just being a complete unknown that turns heads. Corey describes Mario Hollands as that guy, but even he has pretty much flown under the radar.

Continue reading Writer’s Roundtable: What’s Surprising About the Phillies?

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Rollins: “I can’t be traded”

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, March 19, 2014 05:40 PM Comments: 36

Jimmy Rollins reiterated today that he will not be going anywhere, responding to an earlier report from Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Olney said that members of the organization would like to move on from Rollins, as he has not taken on a leadership role in the way they’ve wanted.

Rollins spoke at length about the issue today in Clearwater and told the Inquirer this:

Rollins, who has a full no-trade clause, was relaxed when discussing the matter and didn’t seem irritated for one simple reason.

“Because they can’t trade me,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. I don’t care which way it has tried to be twisted or said, if it is exactly how it was said or if it was said, I can’t be traded.”

Sounds like a man who knows what he wants. And Since Rollins owns the 10/5 rights, he can decline any deal, and it appears he will.

Ruben Amaro seemed disgusted when asked about this:

“It’s absolutely silly, It’s absolute silliness. Jimmy Rollins is our shortstop,” Amaro said. “One of the ways we’re going to be able to win is with Jimmy being Jimmy. In fact, those are the kinds of articles that get thrown out there, not only are they a distraction, they’re dangerous and they’re untrue.”

So which is it? Do high ranking members of the Phillies want Rollins out? Or do you believe Amaro, that these are dangerous accusations?

This seems to be a topic that will not go away for the foreseeable future, and Rollins seems to care not.

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Phillies Pushing Away Hall of Fame Level Shortstop

Posted by Pat Egan, Wed, March 19, 2014 08:05 AM Comments: 46

Is Rollins a HOF'er like Jeter? (AP)

Is Rollins a HOF’er like Jeter? (AP)

It’s no secret; Phillies franchise shortstop Jimmy Rollins and new manager Ryne Sandberg don’t like each other very much.

Sandberg sent a message by benching Rollins this spring and gave a “no comment” when asked if Rollins was a positive influence on the team. The latest in the Rollins saga is that the front office is wondering if the team would be better off by trading Rollins and appeasing its new manager.

A trade for Rollins seems unlikely as he has a full no trade clause, and likely only wants to play for a west coast teams, none of which have a need at the current position.

If Rollins was eventually moved, the Phillies would be trading away the best shortstop in franchise history. But would they also be trading away a future hall of famer?

Initially, most Phillies fans would say no. I put a poll up asking the public their thoughts on the matter and 62% said no. Whether personal feelings or beliefs play a role in that is unknown.

However, baseball is a game about numbers, and when you look at the numbers James Calvin Rollins has certainly put himself in the conversation.

The not-so-storied franchise that’s been around since 1883 has seen quite a few solid shortstops in its time, and Jimmy Rollins is the best of the bunch. Better than Larry Bowa, better than the Whiz Kids’ Grammy Hamner. Yes, Jimmy Rollins is the best shortstop in franchise history. The diminutive shortstop from Oakland, California holds every offensive record for short stops. At bats, games played hits, runs, doubles, and triples, all. He owns all of them. But let’s move away from the SS and move to the team as a whole.

When it comes to Phillies team records Rollins is also at the top, or close to it. Rollins is second all-time in games played, and 2nd all-time in at bats (a record he will likely pass this year as he is only 262 at bats behind Mike Schmidt). He is 3rd in runs scored, and has a chance to move into second place. Of course, he would need his contract extension to vest. He’s 4th in franchise history in hits, and will pass all those in front of him, including Mike Schmidt, when he gets hit No. 60 this season. He’s the all-time leader in doubles, 3rd in triples, second in stolen bases, and is in the top 10 for homeruns, runs batted in, and walks.

Continue reading Phillies Pushing Away Hall of Fame Level Shortstop

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Enough, Jimmy

Posted by Martin Shnayder, Tue, March 18, 2014 01:15 PM Comments: 57

http://l.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/1x17gzh1GiBU3l.CRO1U_Q--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYwMA--/http://media.zenfs.com/en/person/Ysports/jimmy-rollins-baseball-headshot-photo.jpgJimmy Rollins is unquestionably one of the most successful Philadelphia Phillies players of all time. Rollins is the Phillies all time leader for shortstops in runs scored, HR, SB, RBI, OPS, and SLG. He also ranks second in club history in games played. Defensively, Rollins lead all MLB shortstops from 2000-2013 in defensive runs saved according to FanGraphs’. Of course, Rollins also won the 2007 National League MVP award and was the starting shortstop for the 2008 World Series team.

Despite all the success Rollins has had in his 14 years in Philadelphia he is still one of the most controversial athletes in the city. For good or for bad Rollins has never been scared about opening his mouth. In 2008, the same year the Phillies would go on to win the World Series, Rollins came under flak for going on the Fox Sports’ show “Best Damn Sports Show Period” and calling out Philadelphia fans for being “front-runners.” This resulted in him being booed by the Philly faithful. Rollins has also been benched multiple times in his career for not running out groundballs and pop flies.

More recently, Rollins has been in the middle of a locker room controversy with manager Ryne Sandberg after being benched for multiple games. Coincidently, the benching occurred after Rollins was quoted in the Philadelphia Daily News as saying, “Who cares,” regarding the Phillies offensive struggles thus far in spring training.

Enough, Jimmy. Continue reading Enough, Jimmy

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ESPN Report: Rollins Needs to Lead or Leave

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, March 18, 2014 08:24 AM Comments: 71

(AP)

(AP)

Sources tell ESPN’s Buster Olney that the Phillies organization is fed up with Jimmy Rollins and would like to go in a new direction at shortstop. A source also tells Olney it about the work ethic:

“…sources indicate that some in influential positions in the Phillies’ organization want Rollins to lead, by investing himself more thoroughly in daily work and setting a strong example for others. If Rollins isn’t going to do that, the sentiment of some is that the team would be better off moving him as soon as possible.”

Basically from the time Rollins signed a new contract with the Phillies, he’s had to field questions about lifting his no-trade clause, something he will not do. J-Roll has been quoted as wanting to break Mike Schmidt’s franchise record for hits, and topping other categories as well. If/when broken, the records seem to hold little value within the hearts of the fans as the team has recently been called “terrible” by scouts around baseball.

At the beginning of last season, I asked him if he would speak up more because so many of the other veteran voices were either injured or gone and flat out, he said no. Rollins said that he’s always been this way, so why change now.

Manager Ryne Sandberg benched Rollins for a few games last week, perhaps sending a message to the former MVP. But Sandberg said that wasn’t so, that he’s just monitoring his veterans playing days.

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Rollins Back in Starting Lineup

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Fri, March 14, 2014 11:03 AM Comments: 4

http://l.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/1x17gzh1GiBU3l.CRO1U_Q--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYwMA--/http://media.zenfs.com/en/person/Ysports/jimmy-rollins-baseball-headshot-photo.jpgJimmy Rollins will be back in the starting lineup today batting second for the first time since Monday’s game against the Braves.

It was initially thought that Ryne Sandberg was benching Rollins in order to “send a message,” but it turns out it was not disciplinary and was just so Sandberg could get an extended look at the younger Freddy Galvis.

However, Sandberg was upset at Rollins for some comments that he made to the Philadelphia Daily News regarding the Phillies offensive struggles thus far.

“Who Cares,” Rollins said, and then expanded on that by saying Spring Training statistics are not telling of what will happen once the regular season begins.

“I just wanted him to clarify that, because I wanted to make sure that he cared. And I wanted to make sure  – I know that everyone else in the locker room cared. So when he told me about what he was talking about, it made sense…He was referencing himself and where he’s at right now,” said Sandberg

This is not the first time Rollins has attracted media attention for things that he said.

In 2007, Rollins got attention for his comments stating that the Phillies were “the team to beat” in the NL East. Those comments stuck throughout the season and seemed to fuel the Phillies’ quest to claim the division crown.

2013 was Rollins’ worst season of his career, hitting .252 with 6 home runs, 39 RBIs and a career .667 OPS.

Todd Zolecki reported that Rollins is not worried that the Phillies will try to have him share time at shortstop with Galvis over the course of the regular season.

“That hasn’t even crossed my mind,” said Rollins.

“(Rollins is) an important part of the team. He’s got his role on the team as a veteran player, and he comes into Spring Training in very good shape every year, and he has again this year. He’s got his playing time and at-bats coming up. It’s also a long season playing up the middle, so with him and Chase, I’m careful with their games. I know the grind of a season, and Jimmy plays over 150 games a year. It’s the time of the spring right now where he’ll have some time down the stretch,” said Sandberg.

Despite Sandberg’s comments saying that he benched Rollins to get more of a look at Galvis and to give Rollins a break, it would not be surprising if Rollins’ “who cares?” comment played a slight role in his benching. That being said, It’s good to see that Sandberg is willing to put his foot down when he sees the need to.

 

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