Jimmy Rollins had been in a pretty bad slump until the past couple of games, when he went 5-for-10 against the Cardinals and the Red Sox. But even thought his production may be down, there is evidence to suggest that his mere presence has been partly responsible for the Phillies' recent run of success.
I present to you two different splits.
The first is the team's overall offensive production in the 28 games Rollins was sidelined with a sprained ankle. The second is the team's overall offensive production in the 36 games since Rollins returned.
The second is Ryan Howard's offensive production without Rollins and after his return.
TABLE I - Phillies Before Rollins/After Rollins:
Batting average: .255/.276
On Base Percentage: .328/.358
Runs: 4.9 per game/6.0 per game
Home runs: 1.4 per game/1.4 per game.
TABLE II - Ryan Howard Before Rollins/After Rollins:
Batting average: .162/.277
On Base Percentage: .276/.360
Plate appearances per home run: 23.2/12.4
PAs per strikeout: 2.9/3.5
PAs per RBI: 8.3/3.6
OK, I know what you are saying. Of course the team's offensive production will be up. You've got a guy like Jimmy Rollins replacing a guy like Eric Bruntlett in the line-up. And surely that's part of it. But Rollins' production has been well below what is has been in the past. Since returning, he it hitting just .277 with a .345 OBP. Those numbers are well above what Bruntlett did in his place (.245/.304). But I still theorize that Rollins mere presence makes his teammates better, which is why I included Ryan Howard's numbers. When Rollins is on base, Shane Victorino is going to see more fastballs, which will enable him to get on base more, and Howard in turn will have more RBI opportunities, and potentially draw more walks, etc., etc., etc.
Victorino's number B.R. (Before Rollins) and A.R. (After Rollins) are just as striking as Howard's. Victorino was hitting .242 before Rollins return. Since, he has hit .297.