Monday, May 5, 2008

J-Roll set to return Thursday

The Phillies have had one of their best starts to a season in recent memory, and most of it has been done without the reigning NL MVP, Jimmy Rollins. Rollins has been on the disabled list for most of the first-place Phils' season, but he is set to return this week. In preparation for his return, Rollins played in an extended spring training game today and went 4 for 4 with two RBI. Rollins said he felt "a bit of a twinge" while running the bases, but he thinks he is just about ready to return.

Rollins believes he will be ready to play in Thursday's game in Arizona. He is eligible to come off the 15 day disabled list today but he will take the next few days getting himself in game shape.

The Phillies, given their recent April history, had a great start to the season. They are a first place team even without Rollins and without Ryan Howard doing much of anything. Chase Utley and Pat Burrell have been carrying this team offensively but eventually they will come back down to earth. At that point, having a healthy Rollins at the top of the order will go a long way to continuing to produce runs. Now all they need is Howard to start hitting. A .351 slugging percentage just won't cut it.

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