Where Should Jimmy Rollins Hit?
Manager Charlie Manuel made it abundantly clear that Jimmy Rollins wasn't producing enough runs while hitting third in the Phillies' lineup.
It was Saturday April 28th.
At the time of the move, the 33-year-old shortstop is hitting just .216 through 80 plate appearances. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was clearly hoping a change of scenery would serve him well.
Rollins went 1-for-5 in Saturday's 6-5 loss, dropping his average to just .227 and his on-base percentage to .291 - wretched for a lead-off man who just signed a three-year, $33-million deal this off-season.
At this stage of his career, where is the best spot in the line-up for Rollins?
With a .291 on-base percentage, lead-ff certainly isn't the fit. During the off-season I had said the Phillies one viable choice to replace Rollins was Rafeal Furcal.
Furcal got a two-year deal worth $14-million, he's hitting .351, his .410 on-base percentage is good for fifth best in the National league and add in his seven stolen bases and you can see why the Cardinals aren't missing a beat without Albert Pujols.
How about the Two-hole?
Rollins doesn't have great bat control - a staple in that spot in the order. He doesn't like to go the other-way, hit-behind runners, work-counts.
Three, four and five are out of the question, so lets look at the bottom of the order.
Right now, Rollins is the worst hitter in the Phillies line-up and the 33-year-old has seen his offensive numbers decline every year since 2007.
At this stage Rollins should be hitting either seventh or eighth in the line-up. He currently has the lowest average among Phillies regulars - even rookie Freddy Galvis has passed him - Galvis is hitting .242 (though his on-base percentage is just .278).
The Phillies might have been better off letting Rollins walk, plugging Galvis in his natural shortstop position and using a revolving door at second base of Mike Fontenot, Pete Orr and Ty Wigginton.
If the Phillies are going to make a deep run in the playoffs towards another World Series, Rollins is going to have to prove me wrong.
The Phillies need him and so far he isn't producing - maybe he just can't anymore.