Jimmy Rollins could be Phillies’ breakout player in 2019

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When Jimmy Rollins signed a two-year, $23 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies last winter, it was assumed that he was leaving a contract void for his impending free agency – or at least that he did so because he had baseball near him in Cleveland. But now we’ve learned that Rollins does have baseball close to him.

After months of rehabilitation with the Cardinals’ Class AAA affiliate in Memphis, Rollins was activated off the disabled list on Friday, and rejoined the Phillies for their series in Pittsburgh. It was his first game with the team since signing with the Phillies last December. He’s still wearing a brace around his left knee, and had to be told to be careful with certain pitches. Nonetheless, he delivered his best game of the year for Memphis, going 3-for-5 with a double, one walk and two runs.

For Rollins, this was an exciting opportunity to rejoin the Phillies, and a simple group of eyes to watch as the season goes on. It has been a tumultuous few years for the two-time All-Star. The Phillies tried to keep the 32-year-old in Philadelphia. But they apparently couldn’t convince him to play on their team, and for the last two seasons – aside from his appearances at the end of the 2016 campaign – he spent the entire season in Cleveland, in the other major-league stadium in his home state.

But it seems as if the Phillies did pick the right people to be able to coax Rollins back to the big leagues. His former manager, Pete Mackanin, just took over as the manager for the team. He was previously the second base coach for Cleveland, and the last thing that he needed was for Rollins’ knee to make him any less effective.

It isn’t really clear yet whether Rollins will be in the Phillies’ plans for the entire season, but at least his knee – and others – are healthy.

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