Jimmy Rollins returns, but Carlos Ruiz replaces him on DL

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Jimmy Rollins’ second month-long disabled list stint of the season is over, with the All-Star shortstop returning after being out since May 21 with the same calf injury that knocked him out for nearly five weeks earlier this year.
In the 12 games he’s been healthy enough to play this season Rollins hit .341 with seven extra-base hits and a 1.096 OPS, but fill-ins Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez combined to hit just .241 with a .260 on-base percentage, .335 slugging percentage, and 34/5 K/BB ratio starting at shortstop in his absence.
Thanks in part to that big dropoff in production the Phillies have gone just 26-29 without Rollins in the lineup, so getting him back and actually keeping him healthy this time will be crucial as they try to keep pace with the Braves and Mets in the NL East.
Unfortunately for the Phillies they won’t be at full strength even with Rollins’ return, because Carlos Ruiz was placed on the disabled list with concussion-like symptoms due to being struck on the head by a broken bat Friday. Among catchers who’ve played at least 50 games this season Ruiz ranks second to only Geovany Soto with a .398 on-base percentage. Brian Schneider will get most of the starts behind the plate while he’s on the shelf.

Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph: “We suck”

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As I mentioned in the recaps this morning, Baltimore lost its 107th game last night, tying its 1988 mark for the most losses in Orioles history. They will certainly break that record and will almost certainly blast by the all-time franchise loss record of 111, set by the 1939 St. Louis Browns. That team only played a 154-game schedule so the O’s likely won’t be the worst team in the franchise’s 118-season history by winning percentage, but it’ll be close enough.

Over at The Athletic Dan Connolly reports that one Oriole, catcher Caleb Joseph, is well aware of how bad the Orioles are and he is not mincing words about it:

“I’m not a loser. So, to be associated with that severity of losing is embarrassing. It’s shameful really . . . I don’t blame [fans] at all [for not attending games]. We suck.”

That last bit was in response to Matt Olson of the Athletics coming up to him before a recent game, noticing how many empty seats there were in Camden Yards and asking Joseph if it was always like that. Let that sink in: a player for the Oakland Athletics who, year after year, have some of the worst attendance in baseball, is shocked at how poorly Baltimore is drawing.

As for Joseph, he spends a lot of time talking about how the attitude is all wrong with the Orioles, how there does not seem to be any accountability and how things weren’t like that when he came up back when the Orioles were winning. Which, well, yeah.

Baseball players often attribute winning and losing to whatever attitude is prevailing around the clubhouse. Maybe that’s true on greatly underachieving teams or borderline teams that aren’t catching the breaks, but it seems far more likely that winning makes teams happy and instills camaraderie while losing makes teams sad and makes people look inward. Players tend to get the causation wrong about all of that because, I suspect, they don’t want to admit that they’re not as talented as the competition so it has to come down to some motivational or mental defect. Which, if that makes a player feel better, fine, but these O’s weren’t going to win many games even if they came in with smiles on their faces while singing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” out of their rear ends every day. They just aren’t good.

Whatever you think of all of that, one thing is clear: the O’s need to clean house in a major, major way.