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Sunday, January 11, 2009


What do you think the Phillies will do with Stairs/Jenkins? This is clearly an issue that's going to complicate any 5th OF/bench signing.

Without eating almost all of his salary, Jenkins is going to be impossible to move. However, with a left-handed LF, there's really no room for Jenkins to play there, at all. Stairs would seem to be more useful to this team as a PH, yet infinitely easier to move. Any ideas on what they'll do?

King myno: IMO, they will get rid of Stairs. The ease of moving his contract will be the reason.

As for J-Roll, the offense wasn't the same this year, but his defense never takes a day off. For me, the most shocking moment of the year was Jimmy not catching that line drive in the World Series rain game. I think Jimmy's numbers will be better in 09' but I don't see him repeating 07'. That was his career year IMO.

A note with the stolen bases. I don't think enough credit is given to Davy Lopes. The last two years the Phillies stolen base percentage has ranked among the best seasons of all-time and directly coincided with the hiring of Lopes. Vic has become a high pct. stolen base threat and Rollins has also improved his base stealing ability. I would like to see Werth become the next Lopes project as I could see a possible 30 SB coming from him.

Vonderful - I don't know about elsewhere, but I think BL is fully aware (with gratitude) of Lopes' impact.

Yeah. Stairs' (and Coste's) days are numbered. Someone needs to be moved in both areas. It's them.

vonderful: i agree davey lopes has worked wonders, but he does get PLENTY of credit. There wasn't one game that went by this year where at Lopes was credited at least twice a game, even if there wasn't a stolen base.

J-Roll returns to dominance!

Rollins suffered a huge loss of power last season, down nearly 100 points in SLG, but what gets overlooked is an equally huge improvement in his strike zone judgment.

He walked more than he struck out, a career first, and his walk rate was a career best. In other words, for the first time in his career Rollins became a classic, quality leadoff hitter.

I'll take the current version of Rollins over the low-OB, 100+ strikeout, 15 HR version of his early career.

Jimmy will win his 3rd straight Gold Glove, score 100+ runs, bat .280ish, with 15-20 hr, 40+ sb, and have an OPS around .800, which is solid, very solid!

They will move Stairs (and Coste) if they can to save the cash primarily. Considering the veteran league minimum is hovering near $500k, moving Stairs $1M deal for next year shouldn't be that tough if they Phils are just trying to get rid of salary.

Don't know exactly what effect the ankle sprain had on JRoll's power last year (e.g., ability to drive off and generate power with his planting foot), but it clearly did. He went through a long stretch where he didn't hit a HR.

My bet is that JRoll never hits 30 HRs again but does hit 20+ HRs again (lets say 21 this season) and that his .SLG pct will be closer to his 2007 numbers of .470 or so. I just hope that it doesn't come at the expense of AVG/OBP which it did in 2007 as JRoll altered his approach at the plate to try to hit more HRs.

My bet is that JRoll gives the Phils something like .285/.345/.470 with 20+ HRs and 100+ runs again this season.

BTY - JRoll has generally played very well down the stretch in Sept. the past few years when it has mattered the most. Contrast that to Reyes who has has ranged from below average (2008) to horrendous (2007).

Maybe just wishful thinking, but I think Rollins is going to have a big year. For some reason I find satisfaction in the following numbers:

OD to April 19th (IR): .308/.341/.513 (12 G, 2 SB)
OD until May 18th: .342/.381/.570 (21 G, 6 SB)
May 19th until Aug 24th: .236/.308/.375 (85 G, 25 SB)
Aug 25th until end: .352/.439/.528 (31 G, 16 SB)

BB% - K%

05 - 6.5% - 10.5%
06 - 7.6% - 11.6%
07 - 6.4% - 11.9%
08 - 9.4% - 9.9%

His AVG dropped 20 points from 07 but his OBP went up 5 points. Should we be concerned about the AVG drop? I'm slightly confused by the drop in AVG despite a huge increase in LD%.

06 - 19.3% - .284
07 - 19.9% - .303
08 - 24.0% - .292

His GB% did go back to career norms (43-45%) after a career low in 07 (35.9%). But you'd expect a stronger relationship between LD and BABIP than what we see above.

I'm not making any excuses for Rollins, but I do wonder how much the ankle problems had to do with his overall performance. He started off looking like '07 Rollins before going down with the injury, and later admitted that he still didn't have adequate balance and support from the ankle weeks after returning from the DL. The compensations he made at the plate may have continued to affect his offense even after the injury ceased to be as much of a factor. I just wonder what his season would have looked like had that ankle injury never happened. It doesn't entirely account for the huge drop-off in power, and it also doesn't account for the fact that he had a career high in stolen bases. It just seemed he never was able to get on track, and it wasn't really for the same reasons that used to cause his offense to sag (i.e. popping up and swinging too early in the count).

I say Rollins has the ability to hit over .300 and I'll keep predicting that this is the year it'll happen, until it happens. However, I don't think he'll ever sniff the 30-homer plateau again. I would expect continued stellar defense and a more consistent, if not spectacular, offensive year from Jimmy.

Phils are going to likely need JRoll to get out to a hot start or this offense might be in the doldrums early on if Utley likely misses a few weeks to start the season and Howard doesn't emerge as his usual self until after May 1.

Causes me to wonder if JRoll will press at all as he as been prone to do at times during his career when he feels he needs to make something happen. That usually doesn't result in good things though for the Phils.

I'm not sure whether or not this is actually interesting or significant, but here's something i just dug up on Rollins. His AVG on LD is actually unchanged over the past few years (.716, .717, .716).


05: .236/.236/.255
06: .222/.222/.237
07: .257/.257/.304
08: .192/.192/.210


05: .165/.163/.432 - 9 2B -- 5 3B, 12 HR
06: .199/.193/.583 - 9 2B -- 4 3B, 22 HR
07: .210/.206/.596 - 15 2B - 9 3B, 24 HR
08: .202/.199/.485 - 8 2B -- 7 3B, 8 HR

I will second GM Carsons prediction. He will have a fine year in 2009. NOw its time for me to start drinking and watch the Iggles beat the Giants

I'm going with Sophist and cautiously optimistic.

Jimmy had as large a P/PA as any in his career and swung at fewer first pitches than ever before - despite what we seemed to complain a lot about.

I think his BABIP was a bit low (but within his normal range). I think we can expect to see him on-base even more in 2009 and, with an improved ankle, bumping up his XBHs a bit more.

(I gotta work this evening, so have an extra one for me, KoolEarl.)

Rollins' no. in certain counts are interesting to look at year to year. Just, for example, look at his different approach between 07 and 08 on a full count.

07: 87 PA - .309/.460/.544
08: 69 PA - .159/.464/.364

6 more walks, 14 fewer hits. This is a good example of a general change in Rollins' results last year. Generally his no. in hitters' counts decreased drastically from 07. Take 1-0: .983 OPS in 07; .757 OPS in 08.

In re: the photo link

Finally, a word in German in which the meaning is not lost in translation!

His swing percentage dropped 3% overall last year from years previous (~3% fewer outside-the-zone swings from 07; ~2% strike swings from 07).

His contact rate went up 2-4% from previous years, mostly because of an astronomical increase in contact with nonstrikes (since 05: 63%, 65%, 69%, 78%).

My interpretation is that pitchers became more concerned with him and erred on the side of missing the zone. They pitched around him, leaving him the option of swinging at more bad pitches or taking more walks. He did a little of each. I expect that he'll be ready for their new approach to him this year.

I think the same thing happened with Howard (more pitchers opting to miss the zone rather than risk laying one out in striking distance), only he decided to just keep on swinging and avoid those pesky extra walks.

Great photo. It belongs in the BL HOF. Chase Utley wants to order a large blow up version suitable for framing to hang in his den.


06: .298/.358/.517
07: .300/.336/.556
08: .314/.393/.477

.393 OBP at home last year! He actually doubled his BB% at home from 2007.


06: .259/.313/.443
07: .293/.352/.507
08: .243/.307/.401

His worst season Away since 2003 by OPS.

Another thing I wouldn't mind seeing is Victorino becoming this team's leadoff hitter on occasion. Not only is Rollins' skillset larger (he can hit for more power) making him a possible #3, but Victorino may be able to provide a higher OBP and is probably at the point where he can steal as many bags/year at a sufficiently high rate.

Leading off inning 08

Vic: .359/.385/.530 (career: .300/.358/.426)
Rollins: .221/.264/.319 (career: .269/.309/.425)

Bases Empty 08

Vic: .308/.358/.461 (07: .283/.342/.424)
Rollins: .255/.308/.379 (career: .268/.317/.424)

If the opposing starter is a RHP, there's a good argument to bat Vic first and Rollins third. Rollins did manage .272/.352 against RHP last year (.274/.330 career), but Vic was .298/.355 (.289/.346 career). And, as I said before, Rollins' SLG against RHP is superior. Rollins was 5th among regulars in OPS against RHP behind Howard, Utley, Dobbs, and Burrell.

I wouldn't mind Vic-Utley-Rollins-Howard against RHP. The two switch-hitters batting alternatively will also have benefits.

Just look at Rollins' numbers with men on --- RISP:

04: .308/.369/.479 --- .313/.401/.507
05: .288/.383/.433 --- .325/.456/.496
06: .302/.359/.560 --- .309/.378/.626
07: .314/.366/.548 --- .272/.339/.538
08: .324/.426/.559 --- .318/.449/.514

Andy: "My interpretation is that pitchers became more concerned with him and erred on the side of missing the zone. They pitched around him, leaving him the option of swinging at more bad pitches or taking more walks. He did a little of each."

That is exactly right, EXCEPT while he swung at more bad pitches his strikeout rate DECLINED.

Sophist said, "Another thing I wouldn't mind seeing is Victorino becoming this team's leadoff hitter on occasion. Not only is Rollins' skillset larger (he can hit for more power) making him a possible #3"

I've been hoping for Cholly to try this more often too. I believe he did a couple times in 2007 due to the injuries of Chase Utley.

Absent injuries and the last day of the year, Manuel moved Rollins only a few times last year. During IL in June he went Werth-Utley-Rollins twice; against the Mets in July he did the same as well as Bruntlett-Utley-Burrell; one day in ARI he went Vic-Werth-Rollins; against the Dodgers he went Vic-Utley-Rollins in Aug.

He actually batted Rollins third a bunch of times in 07 prior to Utley's injury (Rowand-Vic-Rollins-Utley) while Howard was out, and he went Bourn-Vic-Rollins-Howard and Rollins-Iguchi-Burrell when Utley was hurt.

clout - Yup. He's a good enough hitter to put bad pitches in play.

I do have a high res version of the photo at the bottom of this article. It was a blast taking those pictures, glad some of you like it. If you want a link to the high res version just leave a comment and I'm gonna upload it.

I wouldn't mind seeing Victorino either in the leadoff spot either - especially if Utley is out to start the season.

I highly doubt it happens though. Cholly isn't one to make a managerial change unless things really aren't working for a prolonged period. Plus, JRoll has always expressed a real desire to hit out of the leadoff spot.

I say Rollins will have a year about halfway between his 07 and 08 performance...with continued outstanding defense. I'm gonna go out on the limb and predict his 3rd (should be 5th) straight gold glove..damn vizquel, and at that point he'll be in prime position to ring off a streak of GG seasons. 20 HR, .280 AVG, .345-350 OBP, 40+ SB again.

That is quite reasonable.

I'd think JRoll would like batting 3rd...or even 5th. But he has always expressed lots of interest in.

I'd love to see Vic in the leadoff spot...I'd also like him in the 5 hole despite his lack of power...he finds ways to get on and make things happen.

NEPP - I think the bigger question for Rollins (although what his OBP will be next year should be interesting to see considering his progress with plate discipline last year) is what his SLG will be. Since CBP opened in 04 Rollins' AVG/OBP has been fairly consistent (at least season to season): .277-.296/.338-.349. But his SLG has been between .431 and .531. Also odd that his worst OBP was with a .290 BA, and his best was with a .277 BA. I wonder if there's some mutual incapability in his game between those two.

I don't see him ever hitting his MVP season slugging again but he could easily get to his 06 level of .478 again. I think he'll be higher than he was in 08...I really think that ankle injury screwed his whole season. You remember how well he started off before the injury.

Spitballing and hoping here: I really hope they keep JRoll with the team for his entire career...keep him through his current contract, resign him and keep him at SS as long as he's above average/average defensivly...then move him to 3B. That type of stuff doesnt happen anymore though in the modern game.

"his worst OBP was with a .290 BA, and his best was with a .277 BA."

That's why I think it's all about the pitches he's getting. He hits better when more of the pitches are in the strike zone.

I was surprised by the splits showing Jroll as such a good hitter with men on and RISP. I always had that gut feeling that he was a clutch hitter but had never bothered to look it up before.

Rollins avg w Men on base is the main reason why I've always wanted to see him bat in the 3 hole for an extended period of time. I also believe he would help Ryan Howard more than Utley if/when he got on base... LHP Pitchers would'nt be able to throw ALL breaking balls to Howard when Rollins is on 1b. Teams would'nt be able to do an extreme shift when Rollins is on 2b... Also, Rollins would see more strikes.

Yo aI am drunk. Why are you concernef with the Phillis when the iggles best NY?

Iam ded drun the iggles win and will beat the ravewsns

ok bay are phag & clunt are homosexuls and shuld vbe wmbarrssd of theswlehs


No joke - the braves signing is bad news. And that's because (seriously), in addition to being a phils fan, I am a chunichi dragons fan (though i hate nagoya and the nagoya dome they play in). maybe i have to fully move my allegiances to yakult.

No one has mentioned Jimmy is halfway to the Hall of Fame at age 30. Almost 1500 hits. Jimmy needs good health to get his ticket punched by gatekeeper Roberto Clemente.

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