Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Byrd Flipped | The ever-vigilant Phillies Fan reports, via Roto Times, via AP (stop me before I via again!) that Marlon Byrd's slow start is getting him dropped in the lineup from first to seventh. Your new leadoff hitter, Philadelphia, is one Jimmy Rollins, the previous No. 7 hitter.

Please tell me this is not happening.

Admittedly, Byrd has struggled thus far, hitting just .200 with seven whiffs, but his replacement is scuffling even more, batting all of .160 with five Ks of his own. According to the story, Rollins plans on emulating Florida leadoff whizzes Luis Castillo and Juan Pierre, while Byrd, ever the good soldier, is saying all the rights things.

Color me skeptical. Rollins has done nothing in his career to warrant the leadoff slot, fanning at an alarmingly high rate and lifting more harmless popups to shallow left than I care to count. Perhaps J-Roll has finally had some of that Tony Gwynn magic seep through his thick skull, but until I see evidence of that -- and I'll be watching closely when I'm at CBP tomorrow -- this smells suspiciously like Larry Bowa's first significant blunder of the season. As Phillies Fan states, aw, crap.


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