Freddy Garcia is ready, if the weather is ready to cooperate. Jimmy Rollins has been more than ready since the season began.
Garcia had been scheduled to make his Phillies debut yesterday against the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park, but rain intervened. The game has been tentatively rescheduled for next Monday, with the time to be determined.
Yesterday's festivities honoring Jackie Robinson at Citizens Bank Park also were postponed. The Phillies have not finalized a new date for the ceremonies.
Garcia is scheduled to pitch tonight against the New York Mets to open a two-game series at the Bank.
The 30-year-old Garcia, who opened the season on the disabled list with right biceps tendinitis, is known as a big-game pitcher. The Phillies certainly could use a big game from him tonight. They are just 3-8 and have given their fans little reason to be optimistic.
The team also could use a little momentum before it heads to Washington on Wednesday, beginning a stretch when the Phils will play 15 of 22 games on the road.
One of the few bright spots at the moment has been Rollins, the shortstop who is hitting .298 with a National League-leading six home runs and 11 RBIs. He also has a .411 on-base percentage and a .766 slugging percentage.
Rollins was asked for the reason for his fast start.
"Maturity," he said.
In what way?
"In a lot of ways," he said with a laugh.
How about patience at the plate? Entering yesterday's games, Rollins was tied for second in the league in pitches per plate appearance at 4.50. He was tied for sixth in the league with eight walks. If Rollins continues to get on base like he has, he and the hitters behind him could put up some big numbers.
Of course, it's Rollins' home runs that stick out: six bombs so far. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell have combined for four.
It was mentioned – jokingly, of course – that Rollins is on pace to hit 88 homers this season.
"I doubt it," Rollins said.
But if Rollins keeps this up, he could be trying for a Phillies three-peat in the home run derby at the All-Star Game. Bobby Abreu won it in 2005 and Howard won it last season.
"Ryan was talking about it," Rollins said. "We could have all leadoff hitters in there this year. But I have to get there first."
If he keeps producing like this, it shouldn't be an issue. Rollins hit a career-high 25 home runs last season, which makes people wonder how high he could go. Rollins isn't one to throw a number out there, although he has said he would like to score 150 runs in a season.
"It's better that we win," Rollins said. "I've hit home runs in other games, and we've lost. It doesn't really matter as long as we get the win. If I hit a home run, that's great. If I score some runs, it's even better."
He has produced to the point where some still wonder if Rollins should hit lower in the lineup.
Keep in mind, though, that Rollins is the team's best option at the top.
"I'm not thinking about moving him down," manager Charlie Manuel said. "No, I'm not."
"I'm the leadoff hitter," Rollins said. "Now I hit home runs, and I'm batting behind Ryan Howard. It's weird to me."