At least it seems that way.
A couple weeks ago, Jimmy Rollins got in hot water with Charlie Manuel over not running out a ground ball. A few minutes ago, he just got into hot water over lack of hustle again. Although this was a bit different.
One out, bottom of the sixth, and the Phillies beating the Mets 3-2. Rollins comes to the plate and pops to Jon Niese. Except Niese drops it. Rollins was safe at first but he was definitely just jogging leisurely. He probably could have made second on a straight run. Rollins stole second before the inning ended. Afterwards some words, though not angry ones, were exchanged with Charlie Manuel in the dugout and then Rollins was benched.
Given the lack of a big argument you sorta figure that Manuel told Rollins he’d have a zero tolerance policy on him not running balls out and Rollins knew he didn’t do it. Indeed, the Mets announcers suggested that Rollins stole second because he knew he should have been there to begin with.
That said, ask yourself the last time you saw a guy truly run out a popup to the pitcher. Yeah, me neither. But Rollins is under the HustleScope way more than any other established star in baseball, it seems.
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.