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.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.