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Jimmy Rollins, Milton Bradley Latest of Many All-Stars Benched This Year

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIJune 26, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 11: Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies on deck to bat against the New York Mets on June 11, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Has there ever been a year that you can remember where so many All-Star caliber players have been benched? First it was David Ortiz, then it was Garrett Atkins, then Magglio Ordonez, and now it is Jimmy Rollins and Milton Bradley.

It has gotten to a point where I wouldn’t be surprised to see Albert Pujols benched. Well, I don’t think it will ever get that far, but I think you get my point.

According to MLB.com, Phillies shortstop and former MVP Rollins has been benched for two games by manager Charlie Manuel. Rollins sat out last night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays and will sit on Friday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.

This has to be alarming for Philly fans. Rollins is batting just .211 with a Rafael Santana-like .254 OBP this year. Manuel even moved Rollins to the six hole, and that hasn’t worked either. Rollins is just 7-for-56 since moving to that spot in the order.

It is really starting to look like Rollin’s 2007 MVP season, where he hit .296 with 30 HRs and had 96 RBI in a career year, is a peak he will never reach again. A .275/.285 avg. with 10-15 HRs is probably more where Rollins should be every year.

I can’t imagine Rollins being this bad for this long. He is in no way a .211 hitter. I am going to venture to say that Rollins has a huge second half and turns this around.

The other All-Star caliber player that was benched recently was Chicago Cubs OF Milton Bradley. According to Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times, Bradley will be riding the pine until Saturday.

Bradley, who signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Cubs in the offseason, has been a disaster so far. I didn’t like this move when it happened, and it is even looking worse now. Bradley is batting just .241 with five HRs and 16 RBI in 55 games for the Cubs this year.

How is Bobby Abreu looking now, Jim Hendry?

With a player like Rollins, I expect a turnaround. With Bradley, I have no idea what to expect. He could flip out, he could start ripping the ball like he did last year when he had a .321 avg., or he could just continue to be terrible. Who knows with this guy?

That is why giving a three-year contract to a guy who is an enigma was such a risky move.

That is all the benching talk for now. With the way this season is going, I am sure we will be adding to this list of All-Star caliber players who have lost it at the plate this year.

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