Phils bring in J-Roll to offer advice to young club

Former MVP gives words of wisdom to playoff hopefuls

September 4th, 2018
Philadelphia Phillies' Jimmy Rollins smiles after a steal during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)Matt Slocum/AP

MIAMI -- Maybe Jimmy Rollins can help.

Rollins put on a Phillies uniform Tuesday at Marlins Park for the first time since he played his final game for the Phillies in 2014. He has joined the team for a couple days because Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said he thought Rollins' "perspective as a Phillies icon, a World Series champion, a guy that has been through this on every level, would be good for our guys."

Rollins could help the Phillies in a couple areas. First, the Phillies entered Tuesday four games behind the first-place Braves in the National League East with 25 games to play. Time is running short, depending on who is looking at the schedule, but Rollins helped the Phillies engineer a historic comeback against the Mets in 2007. The Phillies had a seven-game deficit with 16 games to play, but finished 13-3 to pass the Mets to win the division.

Second, Rollins struggled following his rookie season in 2001. He could offer advice to many of the team's young players going through similar growing pains.

"Obviously, things haven't gone well lately," Rollins said. "But we were in a much worse situation [in 2007]. They are in a better position. They're not as far back as we were.

"Make sure that they find ways to win, not find ways to lose. It's a mentality of hope vs. knowing. When you hope to win you kind of hope things go your way. And if they don't it's like, 'Oh.' When you know you're going to win, you don't know how, but you find that way. That way comes because you're being put in that position over and over and over again. You're not hopeful. You can't hope to win. You have to make it happen."

The Phillies fell short in their pursuit of a playoff berth in 2003, '05 and '06. In each of those seasons, the Phillies came close. They had a half-game lead over the Marlins for the sole NL Wild Card with a little more than a week to play in '03, but they finished 1-7. They were eliminated from the Wild Card on the final day of the '05 season and with one game to play in '06.

"We learned that you're never out of it," Rollins said. "Especially now with the double Wild Card. You fight. We dug in. You're going to go home anyway, so what the hell do you have to lose? We just kept pushing forward and finally broke through. Once we got that we were able to sustain it for a little while."

Franco's wrist remains an issue

Phillies third baseman 's right wrist remains sore and swollen, even more so than Monday. He might fly to Philadelphia on Wednesday for an MRI exam. The Phillies recalled infielder from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make up for Franco's absence.

The team also announced that infielder had cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A.

Hoskins nominated for Clemente Award

is the Phillies' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.

He is a longtime advocate of children suffering from Muscular Dystrophy, a neuromuscular and often deadly disease. He spent high school summers as an MDA Summer Camp counselor near his hometown in Northern California. Hoskins previously won the Phillies' overall Minor League community service award. He called the Phillies to ask how to donate his grant to the local MDA.

Hoskins hosted, walked and acted as emcee for the MDA Greater Philadelphia's eighth annual Muscle Walk on May 12. Hoskins also represents the Phillies Charities in numerous efforts.

More information can be found at MLB.com/clemente21.