Time to move Jimmy Rollins down in the lineup

BY SCOTT BUTLER, Feedcrossing.com syndication

Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins is off to a bad start this season, hitting just .231 with one home run and six RBIs. Photo by: Jimmy Rollins / Flickr

The time has come to move Jimmy Rollins down in the lineup. Rollins is statistically the second best defensive shortstop in Major League history, he is the longest tenured athlete in Philadelphia, his leadership helped bring five straight division championships, and he was instrumental in winning the 2008 World Series.

That’s nice. Now move Jimmy Rollins down to the bottom of the lineup.

I’ve heard enough of the Jimmy Rollins is a sparkplug jibber jabber. J-Roll cannot be a sparkplug when he is hitting .225, he just can’t. He isn’t getting hits, he doesn’t walk, he has no power, and now has just above average speed, so he needs to leave the top of the lineup and he needs to leave fast.

Yeah, I know, if Charlie moves Jimmy down in the lineup he is going to mope and hurt the team more. Is that even possible? Rollins can’t possibly hurt us more than he is right now with a .273 on base percentage in the leadoff spot. If Jimmy wants to mope, so be it. Freddy Galvis, a clear offensive liability and a player who everyone on the Phillies staff will admit is not ready to hit in the Major Leagues, is hitting better than Jimmy Rollins.

Charlie can’t afford to continue inserting an automatic out at the top of the lineup card. Juan Pierre makes the decision much easier for Charlie Manuel. Pierre has been hitting well and is better suited to the top spot, so move him to the top spot for the time being. If Jimmy is any bit the leader he professes to be, he would contentedly acquiesce to the move as an opporunity to get his stroke back.

It doesn’t have to be a permanent move, but that is up to Jimmy. If he wants to pout, the Phillies have an equally effective replacement in Freddy Galvis who might be better defensively than Rollins at this stage. Charlie would probably never let that happen, but maybe the threat of Galvis is enough to push Rollins to improve his game.

Jimmy, be a leader and show everyone that you are willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win.

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Be sure to check out more great articles at Phils Baseball.

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