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2010 Year in Review: Jimmy Rollins

Posted by Brian Michael, Sat, October 30, 2010 10:00 AM | Comments: 29
2010 Player Reviews, Posts

What could have been?

Let’s go back to April, a month that had never seen Jimmy Rollins post early-season success. After the opening road trip, J-Roll was hitting .391/.516/.739 and was raking the ball. Then the home opener came around, Rollins pulled up lame during warm ups, and the early promise that he had shown was gone.

Jimmy’s season from Hell was upon us. Rollins missed 74 games due to injuries, and not surprisingly posted career lows in nearly every offensive stat. Fans kept hoping that Rollins was going to turn his offensive slumps around, but he just never got going.

Rollins slashes of .243/.320/.374 rivaled that of his backup Wilson Valdez and even led some to foolishly wonder who would be the better option in the postseason.

One thing that didn’t leave Jimmy during his struggles was his always stellar glove. J-Roll posted a 6.9 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating), the second highest number of his career. Despite the strained calf that lingered all season, Rollins still seemed to make almost play that came his way.

The scary thing is this, do we overvalue Jimmy Rollins because we see him on a nightly basis. The last three years have not been kind to the 2007 MVP. Since winning the award, Rollins has had an average season of .256/.322/.411. Was 2007 a fluke? Or did Jimmy Rollins just get old really quick? Keep in mind 2010 was the tenth year in a row that Rollins was the everyday shortstop.

Rollins has always been a favorite of mine that I defended to all ends, but after this year it’s hard to defend him. It’s tough to be a weapon as a switch-hitter when you hit .218/.297/.360 against righties.  J-Roll made a name in Philly by putting extra-base hits together at will, however this year he managed just 27 in 350 at bats.

2011 will be an interesting season for Rollins. It is the last year he is under contract, and at this point Ruben Amaro would be foolish to extend him without first seeing, what Jimmy has left in the tank. Can Rollins find the form that has been lacking for nearly two seasons, or will we see the end of Jimmy Rollins in red pinstripes?

NICK’S GRADE: 3.0/10

Tomorrow: Wilson Valdez

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Brian Michael has written 1114 articles on Phillies Nation.

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  • Posts: 0 Adam

    Could not agree with this assessment more. I literally have no idea what I think about Rollins. Some days I love him, other days (think 0-4 on 10 pitches) I hate him. His glove is simply outstanding and his leadership and fearlessness is unquestionable. He is also the star of my favorite Phillies moment of the last four years (Game 4 walk-off double).

    Its funny, I can’t see Jimmy not being a Phillie but another sub-par year and I would be glad to see him in an Oakland A’s uniform.

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    Jimmy is one of my favorite players – but the Rollins/Vic leadoff experiment has to end.

    I too cannot see James in any other uniform. Here’s to a fully recovered 2011 for Jimmy (and Chase, and Howard, and Vic, etc …)

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Brooks,

    I couldn’t agree more. I’d love for the Phils to find a lead off hitter. Other than a power RH bat and a lefty reliever I think that’s their biggest need.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    My ideal off season would be to trade Ibanez while signing Downs, Diaz and Crawford.

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    Crawford would be the legit leadoff guy. Another lefty -
    Which Diaz are you talking about? The one who tripped up “Red Dude”?
    Which Down are you talking about? Relief? Second baseman?

     
  • Posts: 0 Me

    i agree with the assessment up until the grade… i think 3 may be a bit too harsh… maybe a 4, 4.5 max… you have to take into account the intangibles he adds, leadership being the big one… but also his glove is incredible… thats all though that stood out to me this season… other than the fact that both jimmy & shane should not be hitting any way other than right handed

     
  • Posts: 0 Bart Shart

    Excellent assessment. Rollins is becoming old very quickly and his salad days are behind him. He never learned to bat to his attributes, but tried so hard to be a power hitter. He has always been a great athlete, but his body is failing him. I think he is rapidly entering the era where he needs to be replaced. He would be an ideal utility player.

     
  • Posts: 0 psujoe

    Matt Diaz from the Braves. .335 career average against lefties and would be a great platoon for Brown until Brown is ready as an every day player. Scott Downs as back end of the rotation lefty. yanks are interested though. I wish Crawford was a righty, but he still has a career .270 against lefties, .285 against lefty starters. Huge upgrade in the field and a terror on the base paths. Any other leadoff righties out there? I like the guy Cuddyer, but wouldn’t be enough money for Downs and Crawford.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    Matt Diaz from the Braves. .335 career average against lefties and would be a great platoon for Brown until Brown is ready as an every day player.>>

    Not so much Diaz, but this platoon Brown talk has a lot of wind behind it and it puzzles the heck out of me. Browns’ need for improvement is defense, more than facing lefty pitching. He was okay in that area in the minors. If he’s not ready after winter ball for a regular spot, playing everyday is the best way to get him ready, and more than the 2-3 weeks he spent in AAA makes more sense. His growth will be stunted playing part time, and not facing lefty pitching for at least a couple months. Hopefully, the winter ball experience makes him minimal enough risk that a job is turned over to him. If not, a guy like Diaz, or Xavier Nady, or Ben Fransisco should be considered for a regular outfield spot with backup perhaps coming from Ross Gload getting more playing time than he did this year.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Beerman

    Raul has a full NTC…meaning almost any deall will probably be impossible. If they really want to move him, it’s probably going to have to be Jenkins-esque and eat the money…and $11.5 is a lot of cash to eat. I’d like a Diaz signing, but at same time, Brown is only going to improve by facing lefties.

    I’m very interested to see if Jimmy Rollins is the 2012 shortstop though.

     
  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Beerman – Brown can improve against lefties but he can do it in 2012, after Lidge and Oswalt and whoever else is gone. Next year is for winning, not for watching a player cut his teeth. A platoon with Diaz would be great.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    I do agree with this assessment, but due to injury, it really ought to come with an asterisk. He missed almost half the season.

    Boy, he only missed 74 games?

    If there’s another down year next year, I think we start worrying. It’s understandable, but not quite fair, that we’re worried now.

    The calls for Valdez were motivated by one thing: TIME. Not because anyone honestly thinks Valdez is a better player than Rollins. I was more worried that Jimmy would take too long to get himself back in a groove once the hamstring reared its ugly head. Valdez had the playing time and experience, but I think we all knew that Charlie wasn’t going to pull Jimmy out of the playoffs.

    I feel more bad for Rollins than anything. He just didn’t have enough time this season.

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    At least a 3 is realistic
    More 7s and 8s coming

     
  • Posts: 0 biz

    Who’s going to get an 8? Werth? Haha. Yeah, Mr Anti-clutch. That .180 w/RISP is screaming for an 8.5.

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    I would think the 8′s and 9′s would be reserved for a few of the starters.

     
  • Posts: 0 Ryan H.

    I give J-roll a pass. he was hurt all year. i’d probably give him a grade of ‘incomplete’

     
  • Posts: 0 Andrew from waldorf

    McCarthy doing the Navy game

     
  • Posts: 0 The Beerman

    I’m not sure how the other contributors are doing their evaluations, but I’m going on this basis. If Roy Halladay was a 9.9 and Greg Dobbs was a 0, where did other guys fit in.

     
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    I give a Rollins a 6 he seemed to be on to something getting his grove back at least to me before that last injury. I simply do not buy this getting to old crap at 31. Maybe with Raul at age 40 i can swallow that a little easier. Its baseball we talking about where the John Kruks and the Fielders thrive in.

     
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    bacardi – I agree fully. This team has a bunch of players, high profile players that are in the same age bracket. If we start thinking they are too old to perform we might as well give up on the next few seasons but, I guarentee you that neither Rube or Cholly are going to give up on Rollins, Utley, Howard, Victorino, Chooch and that is the core of this all AS studded lineup (OK, Chooch S/B included).

    Rube is not going to screw this up, he wont trade for a schlubb to fill in the OF vacancies – Raul could be platooning with the likes of Benny or Brown, whoever takes Werth’s spot in RF could also be swapping time with Brown – have faith in Rube.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Brooks I have complete faith in RAJ, and Bacardi I agree these guys are not too old.

    The players can however get complacent as their careers move on -just like any other career. As an example- The mail man that serves my neighborhood probably hustled his butt off when he started, now after eight to ten years, he’s in no hurry. This can happen to anyone, most of the time they don’t even realize it. IMO- This is what people may be referring to when they say these guys are getting “old”.

    And if so, I agree completely with that.

    The fact that we had the best record in baseball last year certainly belies that idea. But I really do think these guys got to a point where they thought “We can turn it on when we need to” and it worked to an extent when they made that great run after being 48-46. But they also found out the hard way in the playoffs that they can’t just turn it on like that for a given short series. Some of that was due to layoff, some to injury, and some to a “we can turn it on when we want to” attitude.

    Hopefully that’s a good thing, an evolution of sorts, a harbinger of a great year to come. Or, it may mean RAJ has to shake things up a bit to get their attention. I’m not sure which.

     
  • Posts: 0 Lefty

    Nick,
    I like the definition of your evaluation scale. It helps me understand where your grades are coming from. Thanks

     
  • Posts: 0 Ted Bell

    I don’t think these players are too old to perform – it’s just that for the most part they’re at the the end of their peak years and beginning to regress. They can certainly still compete at a high level, but I’d say their best years are behind them. The Phillies did have the oldest lineup in baseball in 2010. If I was the GM, when openings at LF & 3B cropped up I would have probably looked to go younger at those positions rather than sign players who were actually even older than the “core group”.

    Also, having the best record in baseball doesn’t always translate to the postseason. Regular season and postseason are two different animals.

    I’m Ted Bell.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Does anyone else think that Utley, Rollins, Polanco won’t be seeing quite as much playing time next year? Drop-off, if there is any, would probably be minimal, but seeing how tired these guys were by Game 6 of last year’s World Series and how the injuries affected them this year, maybe they start thinking that no one should play that entire 162-game schedule?

    One guy takes a seat here, another guy takes a seat there, maybe a couple days’ rest for this guy, then that guy sits on the bench.

    Charlie proved this year that he doesn’t need every starter playing every game to get back to the playoffs.

    2011 will be pretty interesting.

     
  • Posts: 0 Paul Boye

    Honestly, Kate, I think it depends on the quality of their IF backup. Wilson Valdez was a couple steps above Bruntlett, but even he isn’t really a guy you want getting 200-250 PA if you can help it. Finding a solid backup should be a priority this winter.

     
  • I’m calling right now,mark it down,phils win 100 or more next year!!!

     
  • Posts: 0 Land Shark

    Jay I agree with you…The Phils will be close to seeing a 100 games next season, if not 96+. I think everyone here is being a little hard on Jimmy here. I mean c’mon, he’s coming off an injury (too old? Pleaseeeee). NO PLAYER in baseball is going to have a healthy career, unless their name is Cal Ripken Jr. A 3.0 Grade is just downright BS, it should be split in half with an even 5.0 (3.0 for his offense , and the rest should apply to his defense) He did make some fantastic plays at Short towards the end of the season

     
  • Posts: 0 Adrian

    I can’t disagree with this assessment, except to say that 2007 wasn’t a fluke. He’d been building up to that kind of season since 2004, but he’s definitely not the same Jimmy Rollins. His OBP has never approached a level to justify batting him leadoff all these years, but given how much he’s struggled recently, he should be proving himself in 2011 from a different spot in the lineup.

     
  • Posts: 0 Kate

    Well, everyone remembers Rollins went down for a few weeks in ’08 with a sprained ankle. That kind of wear and tear does start adding up as you get a little older. I hate to think what kind of shape my wrists will be in another fifteen years.

     
 
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