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.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.
Earlier, Craig asked if Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber would play the outfield now that the World Series has come to Chicago, where there will be no DH. The answer to that is no, it appears. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said that Schwarber has not been medically cleared to play the outfield, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Schwarber returned to the Cubs sooner than expected after suffering a fully-torn ACL and LCL in his left leg during an early April collision with teammate Dexter Fowler in Arizona. In preparation to join the Cubs for the World Series, Schwarber went to the Arizona Fall League and reportedly saw over 1,000 pitches from machines as well as Single-A pitchers. He doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat as he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double (that was very nearly a home run) in Game 1, then drew a walk and hit two RBI singles in five plate appearances in Game 2.
At least right now, however, it appears Schwarber will serve as a bat off the bench for Games 3, 4, and 5 until he gets medical clearance.