Week in Review: 2/14 – 2/20 – Phillies Nation
Opinion

Week in Review: 2/14 – 2/20

Could you feel love this week Nation?

The Phab Phive (yes I include Joe Blanton) sat down in Clearwater to spread the love about this upcoming season. At times it seemed the press forgot about lonely Joe when asking questions. Col Hamels was asked how it felt being the only pitcher on the staff with a World Series ring. He replied, “I’m not the only one, Joe has one too.”

Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Hamels and Blanton are set to embark on what could be the greatest pitching season in baseball history. Between the five, they are Cy Youngs, multiple All Star appearances, a World Series MVP and even a World Series homerun. What else could they possibly need or want?

“I wish I threw left-handed,” Halladay joked when asked if he envied the other pitchers. “Yeah, it’s fun to watch all of them. Everybody does something different, different ways of pitching.”

This week it wasn’t only the starting rotation catching headlines.

Jimmy Rollins showed up to Clearwater earlier than usual this season. Maybe the thought process was the sooner he gets 2011 started, the sooner we can all forget about 2010. I always say the up-side to a season like that is it can’t get any worse, right? Let’s hope showing up early means Rollins is ready to get back to his MVP caliber play.

A lot has been said dating back to the trade deadline in 2009 when the Phillies shipped out Carlos Carrasco, Jason Knapp, Lou Marson and Jason Donald to bring in Cliff Lee, only to send him to Seattle in a deal that landed Halladay. Also included in that deal, the Phillies sent Kyle Drabek and Travis d’Arnaud to Seattle and Michael Taylor to Oakland. The farm is empty. That’s what a lot of people were saying. This was go time for the Phillies and GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

He was selling all the prospects to win now, right now. The Phillies have done exactly that. However, let’s not sweep the farm system under the rug just yet. In case you didn’t already know, we have one of the best minor league guys on our staff. Jay Floyd has been breaking down the top prospects all winter at Prospect Nation. And while this current Phillies team has us excited for this year, these kids are making the future look pretty bright as well.

This week we will be looking at the top four guys in the Phillies system. But before we get there, make sure you guys read up on Jiwan James, Trevor May and Justin De Fratus in this week’s Prospect Nation. There is a good chance we will see some of these Top 10 guys for September call-ups.

We finally made it through the Top Moments of 2010. Halladay captured four of the top 10 moments from this past season so it’s only fitting he finishes it off with moments one and two. This season, Halladay could do no wrong it seemed. He sprung into action Opening Day for the Phillies and never looked back. Halladay rounded out the Top 25 with baseball’s perfect game and a playoff no-hitter.

The exciting thing about being a baseball writer is the chance to cover games like these. And with the staff and team that Amaro has put together for the 2011 campaign, I am sure we will have many more opportunities to witness greatness. The season is almost here, and it’s only going to get funner.

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0 Comments

  1. Lefty

    February 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm

  2. The Dipsy

    February 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I am serious, man. These dudes really kill me. Jimmy Rollins made it known that because he likes to bat leadoff where he can “make things happen”, that he does not feel he should have to hit fifth because that would in essence be “shutting it down” as far as being able to use all the weapons that God has given him at his disposal. If you saw the interview it came across as “I don’t wanna bat fifth so don’t put me there”. Thats popping off and I hate pooping off. I would like to point a few things out to Jimmy.

    Firstly, the Phillies have no legitimate right handed home run threat on the team. If at some point Charlie feels that he’s gonna need to put a righty behind Ryan then it might be Jimmy. Surely, he can understand the need to try that out at some point in the season. If Charlie feels that hitting Jimmy fifth is the best spot for him to hit in order for him to put out the best lineup (and I’m not saying that it is), then shut up and hit there.

    I love Jimmy’s personality but what he has done is, in effect, set up a problem for Charlie in that now he has a guy that could be a problem doing something that he asks him, too. Note to Jimmy: You are three years removed from your best season and those last three years have not be good offensively. You don’t have the standing or the cache to mandate to your manager where you will and won’t hit. You are one bad April away from hitting 8th. You have a team that is set up to win a WS and YOU are worried, yes, about your stats????? That’s selfish. Win the WS and you’ll get your $$. Punk.

    The Dipsy

    • Ted Bell

      February 21, 2011 at 9:54 am

      Rollins hasn’t figured out the leadoff spot in 10 years, and I doubt that he’s going to change in year 11 – contract season or not. As far as “making things happen” goes – his one goal above all else should be getting on base by any means. It’s really a rarity to see him do anything other than swing for the fences though. He once said he wanted to pattern himself after Rickey Henderson. Henderson’s career OBP was .401 while Rollins’ stands at .328. Jimmy’s a good player – he’s just not a leadoff hitter.

      Gotta love that photo of Paul Simonon smashing his bass. One of the greatest album covers of all time…

      I’m Ted Bell.

  3. PhP54

    February 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you for including Joe Blanton, he is a great #5. Perhaps not a great #2 or even #3, but a fantastic #5.

  4. PhP54

    February 20, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    The Dipsy – You bring up a good point, but I differ with you here – I want a healthy and happy J-Roll to retire one day as a Phillie – but I want the 2007 Jimmy (or one that is as healthy) to be here. We cannot deny his glove is valuable, but he has turned himself from a great leadoff hitter to almost a #8 hitter. I am curious how the season will pan out, but we need a good #1 and #5 hitter. We shall see… I am sure there will be a lot of surprises.

  5. The Dipsy

    February 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I want a healthy and happy J-Ro, too – but not at the expense of putting together the best batting order. If he’s hitting fifth and we get out 30-9 or something crazy like that, he’ll be happy.

    The Dipsy

  6. Jay aka Phillyboy

    February 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I asked Charlie what he thought of Jimmy Rollins’ prediction of topping Seattle’s 116-win season. “If we win 116, that’s good,” Manuel said. “One year when he was popping off we won, so popping off might be good. Now he needs to come out and hit about .320.”

    • Chuck

      February 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm

      Are you in Clearwater, JAY?? I’ve been here since Thursday (heading back tomorrow-Monday). Charlie has been VERY AVAILABLE to the fans. Glad he said that about Jimmy.

      ——

      Dipsy, Jimmy DID say he WOULD bat 5th if asked to. He doesn’t want to but said he would. Not sure how that is really selfish and he’s certainly not a punk.

  7. Bruce

    February 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Rollins is right. And the manager knows that. No probelm there. Spring training is time for trying out proposed idea of a platoon with L/R hitting of Brown and Francisco in the 5th spot of the order. It’s going to be fun to watch.

  8. The Dipsy

    February 21, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Chuck – Of course he’s not a punk. He made it clear in the interview that I saw that he doesn’t wanna bat fifth. When asked that question, one’s response should be “I’ll hit anywhere Charlie wants me to” a la Ibanez. Then, behind closed doors, he can tell Charlie that he doesn’t wanna bat fifth. IMO

    The Dipsy

  9. Kate

    February 21, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Jimmy’s no punk.

    Yeah, he thinks he can best serve the team in lead-off, but I really don’t think his swagger and arrogance extends to playing games with Charlie and the media. There’s no problem with him stating his preference as to his spot in the line-up because he has said that he’ll bat wherever Charlie wants to put him. That’s not a mandate, that’s just him stating his preference.

    Jimmy Rollins is no punk.

  10. Don M

    February 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Rollins knows that he’s the best available leadoff hitter on the team … a career .276 hitter, .333 On Base Percentage from the leadoff spot

    Compared to .259 hitter, and .326 OBP% from Victorino in the leadoff role.

    You, me, Victorino, and Jimmy Rollins all know that Charlie will have Jimmy in the leadoff role… so by saying that’s where he wants to be… he’s showing that’s where he belongs. If she shows a willingness to bat anywhere.. that wouldn’t be true Jimmy Rollins . . . you love him for his personality and his honesty, or you don’t .. I think that’s what makes Jimmy effective .. he opens himself up for criticism, but in this case, none is deserved

    ….
    This isn’t like last year when Victorino reluctently stated that he would bat anywhere in the order.. 6th- 7th wherever … but then had side remarks all the time about being the #2 hitter, etc . . . when Polanco was brought in and was clearly a better fit for the #2 spot, Vic got bumped … until/unless the Phillies have a better option than Rollins, he will continue to bat leadoff

    I’ve stated earlier that MY ideal lineup would have Rollins 5th . . because while I think he’s the best leadoff man, I also think he’s our best option for #5 … and the runners up for each spot is closer for a leadoff replacement than it is for a #5

    Vic is a great 2nd option for a leadoff ..but who is the best 1st, 2nd, or 3rd option for the 5-spot.. Im guessing we open with Ibanez batting there, followed by Victorino 6

    If i was Houston I would open with Wandy Rodriguez opening day to make the Phillies shift their intended regular lineup .. because vs a RHP – you can expect to see: Rollins, Polly, Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Victorino, Brown, Ruiz, Pitcher

    against a LHP its anyone’s guess but I bet the only difference is …Victorino 5th, Ibanez 6th, Francisco 7th…

    • Ted Bell

      February 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      A .333 OBP is pretty mediocre from the leadoff spot.

      The ’93 Phillies (one of the best situational hitting teams I’ve ever seen) had 7 out of 8 players in the starting lineup with higher OBPs. They had three guys over .400 and a fourth (Daulton) at .392.

      Some people blame ESPN and SportsCenter while others blame continually rising salaries (HR hitters get the big $$), but the fundamentals of the game have changed a lot in a relatively short period of time.

      I’m Ted Bell.

  11. derekcarstairs

    February 21, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I would like to see Utley lead off. There’s no one else in the line-up who would do a better job.

    Utley has the tools to be a very effective lead-off guy. He’s a high on-base, and he runs the bases well. Batting first would give Utley the most plate appearances, something that you want for your best hitter.

    Traditionally, teams have had their best all-around hitter bat third, but I actually think that the lead-off hitter is most important.

    I don’t this would ever happen under Charley, but I think it’s an idea with merit.

    • Don M

      February 21, 2011 at 11:55 am

      That wouldn’t ever happen because you don’t want NOBODY on base ahead of him, since he is among the few that can hit 30+ HRs… and if there are people on base, its likely to be Ruiz or Pitcher … Your best hitter (with power) bats 3rd, your best hitter (with bat control) bats second .. so Polanco and Utley are cemented in the 2nd and 3rd spots

  12. Lefty

    February 21, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Jimmy pops off, it’s what he does. How after all these years would anyone expect anything else. It’s what motivates him, what drives him. He stakes himself to impossible goals, it’s just Jimmy being Jimmy.

    Last year he said he was going to steal 50 bases, IMO, so what if he doesn’t reach the goals. I’d rather have a guy that’s -in basketball vernacular- not afraid to take the big shot, than someone who doesn’t want it.

    And we could argue whether or not he’s a prototypical lead off hitter until the sun goes down, he is still OUR best option to lead off right now.

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