The reigning NL MVP could be activated from the disabled list as early as Friday night when the Phillies open a three-game weekend road series against the struggling San Francisco Giants.
Out since April 19 with a sprained left ankle, Rollins traveled with the Phillies (20-16) to San Francisco. The shortstop was hitting .308 with two homers and six RBIs when he went on the disabled list and hasn’t been in the starting lineup since April 8 after suffering the injury against the New York Mets.
Though the Phillies have gone 12-6 since Rollins was disabled, they’ll certainly welcome one of the game’s top players back into the lineup.
“If he’s ready to play, there’s a good chance he will be,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel of Rollins, who played two extended spring training games and a Class A contest this week. “He’s the MVP. He’s the shortstop. He helps us, man.”
With or without Rollins, the Phillies look to bounce back from an 8-3 loss at Arizona on Thursday that left them with a split of their four-game set with the NL West-leading Diamondbacks.
Bruntlett, who has filled in at shortstop, could remain on the roster when Rollins is activated after going 7-for-18 with eight RBIs in the series with Arizona.
Though Utley went hitless in two at-bats Thursday, he’s hitting .345 on the season and went 4-for-11 with two homers and three RBIs as the Phillies took two of three at home from San Francisco (14-21) last weekend.
Cole Hamels (3-3, 3.10 ERA) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings but didn’t factor in the decision in the Phillies’ 6-5 win over the Giants on Sunday. The left-hander will take the ball Friday looking to improve on a 2-0 mark with a 3.68 ERA in three career starts against San Francisco.
“I felt good, but I have to work on my location,” Hamels said of his most recent start. “Overall, I felt like my fastball was good.”
San Francisco returns home looking to bounce back after dropping its fourth straight contest, 5-4 at Pittsburgh on Thursday to conclude a 1-5 road trip that started in Philadelphia.
“We can look back and say, ‘Shoulda-coulda-woulda,’ and all that, but the bottom line is we were 1-5,” manager Bruce Bochy told the Giants’ official Web site. “That’s not a good trip. We know it.”
Aaron Rowand singled to extend his hitting streak to nine games for the Giants. Rowand, hitting .336 on the season, went 5-for-12 with a homer and four runs scored last week against the Phillies, the club he spent the last two seasons with before signing with San Francisco in December.
The Giants hope Patrick Misch (0-0, 5.40) can help the club end its skid in his second start of 2007 on Friday. Misch, called up from the minors on April 27, allowed four runs and five hits in four innings in a 6-5,10-inning loss at Philadelphia last Friday.