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Rollins’ struggles continue in return to Phillies lineup!

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Rollins is on a 0-27 skid.Goes 0-for-5 with two strikeouts on Wednesday.

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Now in career-worst 0-for-27 rut, future looks bleak at plate.

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PHILADELPHIA — Phillie’s leadoff man and shortstop Jimmy Rollins continued his struggles at the plate this season, extending his career-worst hitless steak to 27 at-bats on Wednesday.

Rollins, freshly returned from a four game benching by manager Charlie Manuel, struck out twice, grounded out twice, and flew out once in the team’s match up against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. It was his seventh consecutive hitless game.

A former National League Most Valuable Player and Silver Slugger, Rollins’ 2009 campaign has been anything but productive. Hitting primarily from the leadoff spot, Rollins owns the worst on-base-percentage among N.L. shortstops with a .250 mark. His .205 batting average also ranks among the worst among active players and with 34 strikeouts already, Rollins is almost certain to eclipse his totals during his 2008 and 2007 seasons.

But that’s only if he continues to play.

The team is currently 39-36, clinging onto first place in the tight N.L. East. Everyday that Rollins’ skid continues, it becomes more apparent that something has to happen, as the team can not afford to throw away any games.

During Tuesday’s match up against division rival Atlanta, Rollins was given the chance to tie the game in the ninth inning against reliever Rafael Soriano. In what perhaps best sums up his season, Rollins struck out on a weak checked swing. He ended the game 0-for-5.

Fans have had enough and are clamoring for a change. Unfortunately there are no apparent internal options.

The recent benching of Rollins offered Charlie Manuel a unique opportunity to mix up the order. The Shane Victorino Experiment didn’t work out (2-15). And if Rollins doesn’t improve within the next week, Manuel should try Jayson Werth in the role, who is getting on at a .363 clip and has above-average speed. Anything seems better than Rollins at this point; if it were anyone else, Rollins would be looking at a demotion.

During the Phillie’s championship run in 2008, Rollins reached base nearly one-third of the time, a lofty increase over the clip he’s reaching right now. While the team is still scoring runs this year (first in the N.L.), the offense has never truly clicked; instead the offense has relied on breakout performances from outfielders Raul Ibanez and Werth and the steady play of first baseman Ryan Howard and second baseman Chase Utley.

There’s only so long that the shoddy play of Rollins can continue before the Philadelphia front office has to make a determination.

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