Phillies struggle at dish as Rollins idles
Shortstop biding time while anticipating return from calf injury
PHILADELPHIA -- Jimmy Rollins put on a bowling shirt Thursday afternoon at Lucky Strikes in Center City, but he did not bowl.
"I'm not going to take a chance," he said at the fifth annual Jimmy Rollins Basebowl Tournament. "On top of that, it's just not a good look to be bowling while you're on the DL."
He is right about that. Rollins, who hosts the tournament to raise money for the Rollins Family Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation, has been on the 15-day disabled list twice this season because of a strained right calf. He is eligible to be activated Sunday, but that is unlikely because he has not made a rehab appearance.
"It's not going slow at all," said Rollins, who could begin a rehab appearance next week. "Right on schedule. We've been aggressive in certain areas, and not as aggressive as we were in the past as far as running. We're trying to give it as much time to heal, as opposed to working the muscle to see how fast it can go."
The Phillies sure could use Rollins. They have scored just 14 runs in a 2-9 stretch that has baffled everybody.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is just the third time in franchise history the Phillies have scored 14 or fewer runs in 11 games. They scored 14 runs in a 0-11 stretch from Aug. 5-14, 1961, and 14 runs in a 2-9 stretch from July 22-Aug. 4, 1902. The 1902 Phillies finished 56-81 (.409), which was seventh in the eight-team National League. The '61 Phillies finished 47-107 (.305), which was the worst record in baseball.
No Phillies team has been worse since the '61 squad.
Yes, Rollins definitely would help. He is an igniter, and he is unflappable when things are going bad.
"I want to be out there," Rollins said. "I want to jump through the TV sometimes, hit them in the face like, 'Come on, guys. Let's go.' It's usually something that happens in June. If we got it out of the way the last week of May, then it's OK with me. We've got a tough schedule ahead of us. It's a good time to start hitting the ball."
Rollins said the calf, which he originally injured April 12 before injuring it again on May 21, feels much better than when he injured it the first time. Rollins played in just five games before hurting himself again.
"It's one of those things where you try to do everything right, and sometimes it still doesn't work," Rollins said.
Rollins was asked if he had any idea why a lineup that still has Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez is struggling like it is.
"If I was there, I'd probably have a good answer for you," said Rollins, who has been rehabbing in Clearwater, Fla., for more than a week. "But being outside the clubhouse and not knowing what the mood is like in there, if guys are tired, if they need to be spoken to, or maybe a good team fight or something. I don't. I'll be there tomorrow. Hopefully I can remedy some of the things. Maybe just coming back home will be a fresh start."
For more information about the Rollins Family Foundation and the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation visit www.jimmyrollins.com.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.