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Can’t you maybe find room for both?

Oct 1, 2012, 6:24 PM EDT

Charlie Manuel, Jimmy Rollins Getty Images

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel spontaneously decided to address his team’s leadoff situation on Monday afternoon.

“A month ago when we’re talking about getting [Michael] Bourn for a leadoff hitter, [Jimmy] Rollins got more production,” Manuel said. “Bourn might have a little higher average, but Rollins has more production. So which one would you rather have in your leadoff hole?”

Well, let’s see. Bourn is hitting .276/.348/.394 with 40 steals in 52 attempts this season. Rollins is hitting .250/.316/.427 with 30 steals in 35 attempts.

Personally, I think I’d choose Bourn despite the extra outs on the basepaths. But Manuel is right; Rollins has been about as effective in the leadoff spot this year. Largely because he has 23 homers to Bourn’s nine. But it also helps that he’s topped his previous career high with 62 walks.

Also, for what it’s worth, Rollins has scored 102 of the Phillies’ 679 runs this year. Bourn has scored 96 of the Braves’ 694 runs.

But the real question here is why does it need to be either/or? The Phillies might not be better off with Bourn instead of Rollins, but they’d certainly be better off with Bourn and Rollins. Rollins is still a great basestealer, but the rest of his line screams No. 5 or No. 6 hitter. He could still be pretty valuable batting behind Ryan Howard in the Phillies’ order.

I’ve already gone on record as saying Bourn shouldn’t be the Phillies’ top target in free agency this winter. But already having a leadoff man shouldn’t be a justification for not pursuing him.

  1. Kevin Gillman - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    So why does Philly have to spend more money? They wasted money this past season and it didnt get them into the playoffs. See what Brown can do for them.

    • spol85 - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:20 PM

      They are an aging team with only a few good productive years left for most of their key players. If they have a chance to improve with proven major league talent, then they should go for it.

      I never understood why fans care how much a team spends in baseball. There is no salary cap. If the owner and GM want to spend money and show a commitment to winning then spend away. If the owners dont spend it, they just pocket it for themselves.

      • xmatt0926x - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:48 PM

        There is a salary cap if the ownership has decided that they want no part of the luxury tax . Just because there is no “official” cap, that doesn’t mean each team doesn’t have their own internal cap figure. The luxury tax was a major issue with the trades they made at the deadline. This isn’t conjecture. Amaro has said that several times since.

      • Kevin Gillman - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:16 AM

        spol, how many rings have the Phillies won with that philosophy? They spend, spend, spend, and where does it get them? We hear how great of a GM Amaro is, but at the end of the day, the spending doesn’t get them anywhere. I am an Indians fan, I remembered the 90′s very well. They spent money, and won division titles, but they didn’t win any WS. If they have these great prospects, then why not use them? If the Indians hadn’t unloaded on their farm system in the 90′s, they would have had Brian Giles, Richie Sexton, and Sean Casey take over after their big stars left them. 3 former All-Stars for other teams, imagine if they had stayed, I guaranteed that they wouldn’t have had to rebuild back in 2002.

  2. dcfan4life - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Philly cant stand losing. And this year they lost. They wont go nuts but they will spend some to fill holes. Otherwise what they are already spending to lose seems insane. And unfortunately i know as a Nats fan the Phillies are a few holes away from being right back in the thick of things next year.

  3. rickhigginshtbro - Oct 1, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    kinda like the sound of:
    Rollins
    Bourn
    Utley
    Howard
    Chooch
    Then Brown, Maybery, Whoever’s on 3rd… Bourn/Rollins/Brown (2 hole only) can all rotate for all I care, just need someone productive on 3rd.

  4. tfbuckfutter - Oct 1, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Bourn 1 and Rollings 2 makes WAY more sense. 32 point difference in OBP. And great, Rollins has a decent homer run stroke but what good is that with him leading of the game and always coming up after the pitcher?

    At least Bourn gives him someone to drive in more often.

  5. greymares - Oct 1, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Bourn wouldn’t be my choice I want an UPTON.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:48 PM

      Preferably Kate.

      Er what where we talking about?

  6. seahawks19081 - Oct 1, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Bourn is going to want 15 to 16 million per. Way too much money for a “legs” guy.

  7. somekat - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Not big on the Phils going after Bourne. But Rollins has been a terrible leadoff hitter for years. He should be at the 5 or 6 slot, but if you put him there, he pouts like a child

    Even at his peak, he was at best an OK leadoff hitter. Now? He’s terrible at it, and his defense isn’t what it was 2-3 years ago.

  8. stex52 - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Bourn is a spectacular CF and carries a WAR of 6.1 this year. At 30 he is probably in his peak years for three or so more years. He will be expensive, but he is also worth a lot. Phils should consider, in my opinion. I thought he was a better deal than Pence last year. He sure looks like it now.

  9. willclarkgameface - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Non-story. The Phillies are going home and Ruben Amaro Jr. wants to cook something up to show everyone that the Papelbon, Howard, Pence, and Cliff Lee deals were totally meaningful and the right thing to do.

    Nice work Ruben. You have sunk your team for a few years to come because well, you’re just too damn smug. Tied for first on my list with Rizzo in DC. That experiment will be rapidly coming to a close in about 10 days so yeah, both of you go play golf and roll in your smugness.

    Peace out.

    • delawarephilliesfan - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      373 wins (and counting) in 4 years as GM. Yea…..whats he ever done that turned out right?

  10. dino1730 - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Even the Yankees of the ’20s had a down year here and there. Go Phils in2013.

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