NEW YORK -- The Phillies announced Wednesday that Jimmy Rollins is their nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
The Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation tries to help children and young adults living with arthritis by providing funds and awareness about the disease. It also supports families struggling financially to help their children to participate in extracurricular activities.
Rollins and his wife, Johari, host an annual celebrity BaseBOWL tournament every summer in Philadelphia. It raised more than $178,000 in August, and nearly $1 million since 2006. The Foundation hosted his first offseason fundraiser in Novemeber 2011 called Havana Nights, which benefits Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania.
"It is a real honor to be the 2012 Phillies' Roberto Clemente Award nominee," Rollins said in a statement. "Just to be considered for this award means so much to me when I think about the man named for it and all he stood for. I hope that the efforts of my Foundation will help continue the tradition of ballplayers giving back to the community for many years to come."
Amaro sees Bastardo as part of 'pen next season
NEW YORK -- The Phillies continue their 2013 bullpen auditions, and with just 14 games to play, every inning counts.
Obviously, closer Jonathan Papelbon will be in the bullpen next year, but who else will be behind him?
"I think we have some real good pieces there," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said before Wednesday night's game against the Mets at Citi Field. "But I think we need at least one good piece. And when I talk about pieces, I mean someone that's very, very good. First-class good. That's what it takes to be a first-class team."
Manuel wants at least one stud to come from outside the organization, which certainly must be on the Phils' to-do list. But inside the organization, right-hander Josh Lindblom, whom the Phillies acquired from the Dodgers in the Shane Victorino trade, would seem to have an inside track on a job. Left-hander Antonio Bastardo would seem like an obvious choice, too, but he is 2-5 with a 4.63 ERA in 58 appearances this season and 2-6 with a 5.79 ERA in 66 appearances dating to last season.
Is it possible left-handers Jake Diekman and Jeremy Horst and maybe a lefty somewhere on the free-agent market could bump Bastardo out? The Phils absolutely love Diekman's arm, although his Achilles heel is throwing strikes. Horst has done the job. He was 1-0 with a 1.14 ERA in 24 appearances entering Wednesday.
After all, this business is about results and for more than a year, Bastardo has not had them.
"Oh, no," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "I think he's part of our club. Obviously he's going to have to continue to prove himself, but I believe he's going to be part of our club. None of these things are slam dunks for any of the guys, other than maybe Pap. I think [Bastardo] has more experience. I think he's a much better pitcher than he's shown. He's not as great a pitcher as he was probably for the bulk of the season last season, but ... you've got to kind of get him back on track and moving forward."
Versatility makes Mayberry valuable commodity
NEW YORK -- So who is the real John Mayberry Jr.?
It is the guy who hit .230 (55-for-239) with 13 doubles, eight home runs, 25 RBIs and a .654 on-base-plus-slugging percentage through July 29, or is it the guy who has hit .299 (47-for-157) with 10 doubles, six home runs, 21 RBIs and an .854 OPS since?
The Phillies would love to know before they head to Spring Training in February.
"John can be a valuable guy on our club," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Wednesday at Citi Field. "Whether he's an everyday player for us next year remains to be seen, but he's certainly put himself in a good position to at least be a part of our club. He's got a lot of value because he's versatile, he's got power, he's got some speed, he can play all three outfield positions and first base. So anytime you have a commodity like that, it's a plus."
The Phils had high expectations for Mayberry this season based on a strong second half in 2011, when he hit .309 (46-for-149) with 11 homers, one triple, 10 homers, 34 RBIs and a .959 OPS from July 10 through the end of the year. But Mayberry didn't deliver early, when they really could have used him without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley in the lineup.
For that reason it seems the best Mayberry can hope for is opening 2013 in a platoon situation in the outfield.
One theory on Mayberry: maybe the pressure of producing early this season affected him negatively.
"It's possible, but he had a slow start last year, too," Amaro said. "Maybe he's just a slow starter."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.