Rollins remains hitless in return to lineup
Despite career-high 0-for-27 skid, Phils shortstop upbeat
ATLANTA -- Jimmy Rollins looked like he carried a heavy bat to the plate Tuesday at Turner Field.
He had not played since June 24 against Tampa Bay. So when he returned to the Phillies lineup after a five-day layoff, his timing was off. He went 0-for-5, striking out twice, grounding out twice and popping up once.
"It felt like my first game back in a while," Rollins said before Wednesday's 11-1 loss to the Braves. "It really did. I was like, 'Whoa, goodness gracious.' Hitting that ball off the tee is a little different than hitting when it is moving. I'm hoping my timing will be back today."
Rollins went 0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base Wednesday. He is hitless in his past 27 at-bats, which set a career high. His previous career high had been a 25 at-bat hitless streak from June 18-24, 2002.
Rollins said afterward the layoff was not counterproductive.
"I don't feel worse, so that's a good thing," Rollins said. "I got a walk. That was a positive. That was good. I stole a bag on a horrible jump."
But does he feel better mentally like manager Charlie Manuel had hoped?
"It's always been good," Rollins said, when asked about his frame of mind, "other than maybe trying to make things happen. I didn't have to worry about baseball. That's what Charlie wanted. He said that. 'Don't worry about it. Don't worry about the team.' But you can't help but think about it. I don't care what happens. If your teammates are playing, you want them to do well."
Rollins said he hasn't sought any outside advice to break out of his season-long slump. He is hitting .205 with a .250 on-base percentage. He has the fifth-lowest average in baseball and the lowest on-base percentage in the Majors.
"[Jeff] Francoeur actually talked to me [Tuesday] at second base," Rollins said. "He was fresh off of it last year. Unfortunately, he had to go to the Minor Leagues, but he was talking about it. Things that he did."
"No, not really," Rollins said. "But I don't know anybody who's been through something like this."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.