Phillies Notebook: Phils flourish with Rollins leading off

RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jimmy Rollins is congratulated by A.J. Burnett after home run.
RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Jimmy Rollins is congratulated by A.J. Burnett after home run.
Posted: May 20, 2014

RYNE SANDBERG would not commit to anything beyond today's day off, but it's safe to say that the manager likes the look of the lineup with Jimmy Rollins in the leadoff spot.

What that means for Ben Revere isn't clear, but Sandberg acknowledged the possibility of using a rotation in centerfield. Righthanded hitter John Mayberry Jr. started in center for all three games of the series against the Reds, which the Phillies capped off with an 8-3 win yesterday.

Revere has been battling a stomach bug, but Sandberg said Revere was "over the hump" physically - enough, at least, that he could have played yesterday. The diminutive speedster has spent most of the season leading off, but his .284 on-base percentage and his two extra-base hits in 142 plate appearances would be more suitable for the bottom of the order.

"That's just something to think about," Sandberg said. "I think there's options there. It could be a situation where it depends on who's pitching that day."

Mayberry is 6-for-19 with five walks and four extra-base hits in 27 plate appearances against lefties this season. That includes a double against Reds starter Tony Cingrani yesterday.

Rollins drew two walks and hit a leadoff home run yesterday. He has 22 walks in 147 plate appearances this season, putting him on pace to shatter his career high of 62, which he set in 699 plate appearances in 2012.

"I like Jimmy in the leadoff spot," Sandberg said. "Right now he has a real good approach up there as far as hitting for average. He looks just real patient, working the pitchers and taking walks."

Asche rebounds

On April 24, Cody Asche was hitting .192 with a .263 on-base percentage and a .288 slugging percentage. Since then, he is 18-for-56 with three home runs, six doubles and nine walks, including yesterday's 2-for-4 performance that was capped by a three-run home run in the seventh inning. On the season, Asche is hitting .259/.344/.444 for a .788 OPS that is tied for fourth among NL third basemen.

No more streaking

Chase Utley had an eight-game hitting streak snapped. During that streak, he was 14-for-31 with nine extra-base hits and four hit by pitches. Curiously, Utley is homerless in his last 123 plate appearances after hitting three in his first 46. Utley's last home run was a go-ahead solo shot off Marlins lefty Mike Dunn in the eighth inning of a 4-3 win on April 13. He is slugging a healthy .432 during that span.

Phillers

It was the Phanatic's birthday, which meant appearances by the big guy's mascot friends, including Monkey Mantle, Harry Canary, and Ichi-roach . . . Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco went 4-for-4 with two doubles. His three-run home run off Kyle Kendrick was the only scoring in the Phillies' loss on Friday night. On the season, Mesoraco is 27-for-54 with eight doubles and four home runs . . . Seven of the Phillies' last eight wins have come on a Saturday or Sunday. They are 11-3 on those days . . . The Phillies are 6-2 in games that Wil Nieves starts at catcher . . . The Phillies have won five of their last six series against National League opponents.


On Twitter: @ByDavidMurphy

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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