The Phillies are officially on the hook for $11 million in 2015, as Jimmy Rollins’ option became guaranteed with his second plate appearance in tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks. Per Rollins’ contract, details of which you can see at Cot’s Contracts, Rollins’ 2015 option became guaranteed by accruing 1,100 plate appearances between the 2013-14 seasons. He had 666 last season and just hit 434 this season. Conversely, had Rollins missed time due to injuries last season, the option would have also become guaranteed with 600 plate appearances this season, which he also seems likely to achieve.
The only way the Phillies will be free of the commitment is if Rollins ends the 2014 season on the disabled list and a mutually agreed-upon doctor doesn’t deem him available for Opening Day in 2015.
The $11 million commitment for 2015 is yet another obstacle if Phillies GM Ruben Amaro intends to trade Rollins. Rollins has already said he won’t waive his 10-and-5 rights, but even if they somehow convinced him to do so, there many not be many takers willing to pay a 36-year-old shortstop $11 million.
Rollins entered the night with a .243/.326/.398 slash line with 13 home runs, 45 RBI, and 19 stolen bases. He has flied out and grounded out to third in two trips to the dish tonight against D-Backs starter Wade Miley.
The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.
The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.
Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.
The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97. Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.
In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.
Manager Robin Ventura’s contract with the White Sox expires after the season, but the club will offer him a new contract if he wants to stay in Chicago, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Ventura’s five seasons at the helm of the White Sox haven’t gone well. The club has crossed the 80-win threshold only once, in his first season back in 2012. Entering the final five games of the season, Ventura has a 373-432 record (463) overall.
The White Sox have also had a handful of controversies under Ventura’s watch, including the fiasco concerning Adam LaRoche and his son Drake, as well as Chris Sale‘s displeasure with wearing retro uniforms. Ventura is not exactly a fan favorite, either. It’s interesting that the White Sox want to keep him around, to say the least.