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Phillies Player Review: Jimmy Rollins

Posted by Ryan Gerstel, Fri, December 13, 2013 05:45 PM | Comments: 22
2013 Player Reviews, Analysis, News, Posts

(AP)

(AP)

After batting .250 with 23 HRs and 68 RBIs in 2012, Jimmy Rollins experienced a career worst 2013 batting .252 with only six HRs and 39 RBIs. The former National League MVP struggled mightily with the bat, especially when it came to extra base hits, racking up just 44 with 36 doubles, 6 HRs, and tying a career low with only 2 triples. Rollins also experienced career lows in slugging percentage (.348) and OPS (.667).

As a base stealer, Rollins stole a career low 22 bases in a season where he played more than 100 games. His low OBP of .318 did not help his cause.

On opening day, Rollins was the Phillies’ two-hole hitter with Charlie Manuel electing to go with the younger Ben Revere in the leadoff spot. That did not last long, however, as injuries to Revere and Chase Utley forced Rollins to move around the Phillies lineup. Rollins started 63 games batting leadoff, 51 games batting second, and 37 games batting third.

Out of the three, Rollins struggled the most batting leadoff with a .243 BA and a .290 OBP. He found the most success batting third, posting a .259 BA with a .351 OBP. While Rollins struggled offensively, he was one of the Phillies’ most clutch hitters, batting .291 and driving in 32 runs with RISP. Rollins finished the 2013 season on a strong offensive note, posting a .292 BA with 9 doubles and a season high .370 OBP in September.

Defensively, Rollins was once again solid. His .982 fielding percentage ranked 5th out of 20 qualifying shortstops while his 11 errors ranked 6th. Despite his age, the 35 year old still showed a strong arm and good range posting a 4.19 RF (Range Factor) which ranked 9th in MLB.

Staying on the field was not an issue for Rollins as he played in 160 of the Phillies’ 162 games and was the only everyday starter to play more than 140 games. Even at age 35, Rollins proved that he is capable of staying on the field, which cannot be taken for granted considering the Phillies’ recent history with injuries.

Grade: C-
Jimmy Rollins’ season was one of inconsistency with both his bat and his spot in the lineup. Due to injuries and younger players getting opportunities, Rollins was unable to find a home in the Phillies lineup, and was never able to succeed in any one spot. His power numbers fell substantially, only hitting 6 HRs after hitting 23 in 2012 J-Roll is not getting any younger, and 2013 could be the beginning of his decline as an effective Major League hitter. Despite this, he is still one of the best defensive shortstops in the league and his ability to stay on the field has to be encouraging for Ryne Sandberg.

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About Ryan Gerstel

Ryan Gerstel has written 19 articles on Phillies Nation.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    Age and I’ll do just enough to get by type of attitude with Jimmy. IMHO..

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Couldn’t disagree more about attitude. At his age I don’t think that type of attitude would have kept him on the field and healthy for almost every game of a 162-games season the last two years, or made him arguably the second best shortstop in baseball in 2012, the first year of a new contract. Or allowed him to get more out of a 5’8″ frame than almost any player in recent history.

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        This is an interesting issue, one that I find myself oddly in both camps. I was very critical of Rollins not running out a few ground balls last year. As you pointed out at the time, Schmenk, Jimmy is far from alone in that department (it will always get in my craw), but I guess I expected more hustle from a team leader at the plate. Somehow, I expected him to stop undercutting balls and figure out his mistake – or at least carry a pained expression and stance – the same clear pain we saw from Doc and Sandy and Mays and Mantle and Aaron before him when the wheels were starting to come off. We expect to see the dejection from a (near) sure out on a “routine” ground ball, especially from a competitor of Jimmy’s stature who is struggling personally AND on a losing team. But then I expect more of young Yasiel Puig who is a hustling dynamo yet stands at the plate admiring his home run that wasn’t – and still manages to turn it into a triple.You want to kiss him and punch him at the same time. Lest we forget, Schmitty carried the same uncaring label for his entire career. He was always casual out there – and casually became the greatest third baseman of the modern era. Jimmy is without question the greatest shortstop ever to wear red pinstripes, and yes, I can’t think of a mini dynamo who has gotten more out of a 5’8′ body than Jimmy Rollins. At 35, he’s still among the top 10 at his position, even in range.
        We just don’t expect the “lapses” of concentration from a Jimmy Rollins, lapses that infect entire teams when things are going badly. We get frustrated watching lesser players make stupid mistakes. We get emotionally hurt when our heroes do the same while always aware we never had enough time to watch them at their best.

         
  • Posts: 0 Scotty Ingerton

     
    • Posts: 5076 Lefty

      Avatar of Lefty

      “There is no realistic sum of money that can improve this team by 17 wins and make it a contending team”

      Gelb and I disagree on this point. If you get the right guys, it can be done. Realistically, it probably won’t get done, but to say it can’t is IMO wrong. Otherwise, I agree with him that they seem to be stuck in neutral.

      The right direction was toward a rebuild, but that’s not what sold Hamels on staying here, or Utley- so since they’re not going to rebuild, they might as well go for it. Mr. Choo would fit very nicely into a team that in general doesn’t do a good job of getting on base. I don’t care what side of the plate he hits from, or his not so good splits. He gets on. Trading a big asset like Brown for big pitching could help also. I just disagree that it can’t be done.

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        The Yankees might be wealthy but they have to play under the same financial rules as the rest of the league. Somehow, they found an extra $300 million in this off-season yet claim they’re far from through, including their pursuit of Mr. Tanaka.
        The Red Sox turned it around in one year but accomplished it by picking up 6 or 7 journeyman who were statistically brilliant additions. But then, the Red Sox believe in sabermetrics. They also believe in a strong farm system and have the best in baseball. Small market, small wallet teams like the Cards also rely heavily on sabermetrics and youth, so much so that they can trade an unaffordable superstar and come up with a Wacha and others in his place. Even the lowly Astros could become a force in a few years, much thanks given to the Phillies’ farm system.

        The Phillies do not have the Yankees money, nor the Dodgers but they are among the elite major market teams and more than capable of spending to the same legal limits – and like the Yankees, creatively beyond those limits, if necessary. They are not the modest income Pirates who have leaped beyond them in success.

        What the Phillies have become is a misguided team whose management is understandably gun shy of their own decisions. They have dug their own deep hole and fallen comatose at the bottom. From that darkness they blindly keep digging, only slower; perhaps turning a 73 win team into a 70 win team next season – 67 wins the year after. That’s no way to run a ball club in any era, especially in one that calls for brand new skills in creativity and talent analyses.

        If the desire was there, they could find a way to sign Tanaka and Choo and likely pick up over half the wins they need to be competitive again. Additionally, they could make all the right moves in the draft and through trades if they only had someone to make those wise decisions. They could be a playoff team within two years. On the current trajectory, that won’t happen.

         
    • Posts: 0 George

      wbramh:

      Say what you want about whether the team can afford to spend, or whether they can’t afford to spend. What seems obvious this offseason is that they’re NOT GOING TO SPEND whether fans want them to or not. No amount of griping about their lack of desire will change that.

      And don’t compare any team to the Yankees. They don’t/won’t function like any other team there is or ever was (except maybe past Yankee teams). Even the billion dollar Dodgers are now trying to replenish their farm system, and are passing on the more expensive free agents.

       
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        The Dodgers passed on the expensive free agents because they didn’t need any of them.
        They have four all star quality outfielders, a decent starting rotation with four young studs in the pipeline including a 16-year-old Mexican phenom who scouts believe will be a major league star by age 20. No wonder they let Nolasco fly off to Minnesota. And the name Masahiro Tanaka may yet be added to that rotation. The Dodgers are rumored to have as much interest in him as the Yankees and his team of interest is rumored to be on the West Coast. Another reason why they may have decided to pass on overpriced refried free agents.

        Yeah, they could have waited to join the crazy bidding on Cano but picked up Cuban defector and 2nd baseman Alexander Guerrero instead. After the Puig signing I wouldn’t question the Dodgers’ ability to find talent – just bow in awe and hope the Phillies were as smart with their signing of Senor Gonzalez.

        And why not compare the Phillies to the Yankees? They may have a lot of gold but they’re also the historic gold standard of professional baseball. But don’t narrow the point I made because it wasn’t all about the Yankees. While spending .$300 million or more in the off season is one way to rebuild a contender it’s not the only way which is why I gave more than equal time to the red Sox and Cardinals, two very different types of rebuilt dynasties.

        And yes, the Phillies aren’t going to spend money. Yankee method out.
        And yes, the Phillies aren’t going modernize their talent decision-making to 21st century specs
        Red Sox and Cardinals method also out.

        They’re not going to replenish their farm system by trading away marginal veterans. Dodgers, Red Sox, Cardinals, Pirates way out. And maybe include the lowly Astros to that last list since they’re expected by some close observers to go from laughing stock to contender before the Phillies stop falling.

        But what really disturbs me about this team is an interesting point you added and I unfortunately may come to that same conclusion when you said, “…whether fans want them to or not. No amount of griping about their lack of desire will change that.”

        I suppose if they played for their own amusement in an empty cornfield that would be acceptable but they’ve built their billion dollar franchise from the trust and loyalty of shmucks like you and me and more often than not, millions more courtesy this community’s tax dollars.
        They moved into the Vet thanks to a city ballot referendum. I remember it well because there were two referendums that year, one to build a free stadium for the Phillies and Eagles, the other for the same dollars to improve the school system. I don’t have to tell you which referendum lost out.

        So yes, I’d say they owe this community something in return. I don’t expect a winner every year. At age 65 I’ve seen worse teams and still supported them. The difference is, I never had the feeling there was “a lack of desire” as you put it, just less talent at all levels. If I had believed they simply didn’t give a damn about how fans felt I wouldn’t waste my time bitching. Current management should be glad some of us do bitch – and maybe listen once in awhile.

         
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    The healthy part i understand. I just get this vibe that its ho-hum for him Schmek.

     
  • Posts: 0 Von

    I see nothing wrong with Jimmy’s season. This is exactlly what you want out of him. The problem is, Jimmy shouldn’t have to put up MVP years like he did when he was younger. He is now the veteran, and a new youngster should be putting up MVP years. The problem is the Phillies are still relying on these guys that put up MVP years to still do it 7 – 8 years later. They have no youth, and that makes everyone expect more out of guys like Jimmy. It’s the orgs fault, not Jimmys. A to Jimmy for playing 160 games and not being Michael Martinez.

     
    • Posts: 0 Brooks

      Von, were we watching the same player? The article is about Jimmy Rollins, what we have learned to expect out of Jimmy is closer to 20 hrs, probably 60 or more rbi – offensively, this was probably his worst season as a pro.
      Sandberg had some nice things to say about Jimmy’s production in the final month that seemed hopeful. I agree with the low grade and look forward to improvement for this coming season from our SS.

       
  • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

    Hey Guys! All of you make very good points about Jimmy. I am not a big Rollins fan, and I’m sure there are those here that already know that.( Schmenk) . But let me take a step back and admit that Schmenk is right. For what you can expect from a 5 ft. 8 guy? Jimmy has exceeded his value.
    Now with that said, I think he should be dealt if possible asap before he loses any more of his value to us as fans and to the team. Of course he has a 5-10 hammer in his pocket to prevent a trade, but that’s rubes fault not Jimmy’s. I don’t hold any of these guys responsible for there contracts. If we were in their shoes we’d do the same thing. I try not to say things about a player concerning the amount of money he makes. It’s the nature of sports today.
    My thoughts on the SS position is this. If Jimmy has lost anything at SS I think it’s in his lateral movement. He does still field exceptionally well on the balls he gets to, but there’s a lot of balls to his right and left he used to get but doesn’t now. His speed is slowing going, he doesn’t beat out many balls in the hole as he used to. And most of all he’s not the 5’8 juggernaut he once was.
    My solution is to trade a once great Phillie and just put Galvis at short. No he doesn’t have Jimmy’s speed but he does have the lateral mobility Jimmy is losing and offense wise I think Freddy is at the point that he’ll be producing about the same as Jimmy would, maybe better if he heed’s Sandberg’s advise and plays within himself. It’ll also help the pitching with fewer balls going through the left side. I remember David Bell he was a statue at third! I used to tell my boys if he ever goes and we get someone with lateral movement our pitching is going to be a lot better. And it did get better. I’m not saying Jimmy’s a statue but the time has come to trade him before he start’s becoming one. He’s still very respectable but I don’t want to see him become one here.

     
    • Posts: 0 wbramh

      It’s hard to argue that Jimmy’s wear and tear shouldn’t be a concern and especially his receding numbers at the plate but if I’m not mistaken, his lateral range is amazingly still up there with the elite at his position.

      Woulda-coulda-shoulda speaking, yeah, I wish we had something a lot closer to the 2007 Jimmy. Perhaps Galvis will yet become someone closer to that player.
      If not Galvis, maybe J.P. Crawford –
      or even Erisbel Barbaro Arruebarruena.
      Crawford would be easier to pronounce.

      Once they’re gone we always better appreciate exactly what we had. I immediately think of the poor guys, bad or good, who had to follow Schmidt’s act at 3rd. Guys like Schu and Hayes never had a chance to be loved here.
      The guys who follow Jimmy and Chase and Ryan will suffer the same scrutiny.
      Unfortunately, it’s more often the Rudy Yorks who take the aging Ted Williamses spots in the batting order. If you’re lucky, you only have to wait a few years to find a Yastremski to take off some of the sting.

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        Luckily for Schu he never got a chance to be really hated here, either, which is usually what happens to a player who’s as mediocre as he was. He was traded pretty early so he had to prove his amazing lack of value elsewhere.

        I felt a little sorry for Hayes, though. He was basically deemed “the next Ted Williams.” Ted Williams types come along maybe once a century, if even that often. Hayes was a little better than average and seemed like a nice guy, but he was about as popular as MiniMart.

         
  • Posts: 146 photoFred

    Avatar of photoFred

    Most of Jimmy’s numbers are not out of line with his career avgs. EXCEPT for power, and that’s a big exception. Is there any way to write part of that off to being moved around in the lineup? Probably not.

    He supposedly had a great relationship with Charlie; will be interesting to see how he responds to a different personality.

     
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  • Posts: 0 Justin McElroy

    So, Jimmy scores some grading points for being healthy and being 5′ 8″. I guess that speaks to the state of Phillies baseball in 2013.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      And stylin’. Don’t forget stylin’. Anyway, that was only in reference to his attitude. He had a bad year and there’s no getting around it.

       
      • Posts: 0 Hogey's Role

        He had a below average year by jimmy Rollins standards is what I would say, jimmy has always been a dynamic player and like schmenk has always argued who else is gonna play short for us, there is no one better then jimmy at this point, galvis is very good defensively but offensively idk if he’s better than jimmy but he does show flashes of promise at times…

        I’m just curious that if it does get to the point where jimmy has to change positions, where would we move him? 3b or cf maybe one of the corners??

         
      • Posts: 0 wbramh

        The only other position I can see him at (and that’s a maybe) is 3rd base.
        He’s got the glove but not the stretch for 1B.
        But I’m not sure the team would gain anything by having Rollins swap positions with Asche.
        Jimmy is still an above average SS. Plus Franco may knock all challengers off 3rd come April – and Franco is definitely not middle infield material.

        Jimmy’s problem isn’t range at this point. That has remained pretty decent, especially for a 35-year-old player in a quick reflex-demanding position.
        The problem is at bat, higher strikeouts, pop-ups, lower HRs – reduced OPS.
        His splits seem pretty even but he’s just not making solid contact from any side.
        He did had a very good September. Let’s just hope there’s still gas in whatever tank that came from.

         
  • Posts: 0 DavidE

    Maybe the Yankees or Cardinals will sign Rollins. I think I would prefer Galvis for defense at shortstop because his range is better. Regarding the pitching last year, how much of the problem was defense and how much was bad pitching. Galvis is not going to be as good as Andrelton Simmons defensively but he is good.

    I don’t think Rollins is a bad player at this point but I would really like to see what Galvis could do. Regarding the $11 or $12 million contract, for next year, that might not be as big a problem as you would think. You look at the contract Choo just signed and McCann’s contract, it’s not crazy to think someone would take Rollins at that price for one year.

    It’s possible that the big problem Rollins has now is that the teams don’t have to go after him. He can’t steal bases like he used to so it isn’t a big problem if they walk him. When Shane Victorino batted behind him followed by Utley and followed by Howard, the teams had to give him something to hit.

     
    • Posts: 0 Scotty Ingerton

      The Yankees or Cardinals cannot “sign” Rollins. He’s under contract for 2014 with a 2015 vesting option that’s easily obtainable. If Rollins goes to another organization, it will only be if he waives his no-trade clause.

       
 
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