Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg might be trying to send a message to the club's longtime shortstop, Jimmy Rollins. Despite checking out as healthy, Rollins has not played the past two days and is not scheduled to play Thursday in Grapefruit League action. Instead, the Phillies are going with Freddy Galvis at shortstop.
Rollins was supposed to be in the lineup Tuesday for a game at Orlando, but he stayed back at the team's spring headquarters in Clearwater, Fla. The same thing happened Wednesday when Philly made an hour-long trek to Sarasota. Sometimes a team's veterans don't make road trips in spring training, which can be relatively long days. But that's not what seems to be going on with Rollins.
Chris Branch of Delaware Online writes:
Galvis played well Wednesday, going 1 for 2 with a triple and a RBI. Asked about Galvis afterward, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg gushed.
"Freddy's a guy that will get playing time at various positions," Sandberg said. "He's a guy that I like in the lineup. I felt good about what he brings to the table. The biggest thing I like is his energy and his positive influence. His positive influence on everyone around him."
Immediately after, Sandberg was asked about Rollins in that regard.
"No comment," Sandberg said.
Rollins did not appear to be available for comment Wednesday, but we'll see if he chimes in before Thursday.
Despite being a mainstay in Philly, a three-time NL All-Star and NL MVP in 2007, Rollins hasn't been perfect. As recently as 2012, he apologized to then-manager Charlie Manuel for not hustling after being benched two times over a two-week period.
From the moment he took over for Manuel, Sandberg has said he won't accept players not giving their best effort (which doesn't seem like a lot to ask). It appears Sandberg won't let Rollins slide just because he's Jimmy Rollins, and just because it's spring training.
Rollins, who turned 35 in November, has a vesting option in his contract for 2015. If the option won't kick in unless he remains the starter for most of the 2014 season, Rollins certainly has financial incentive to stay in the lineup as much as possible. And plenty of other incentives, as well.
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