The Philadelphia Phillies will have a representative in this year’s World Baseball Classic.
Jimmy Rollins has been selected to represent Team USA. It is the second time in four years that Rollins has been selected to the roster. He originally played for the United States in 2009.
Given the fact that New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki are dealing with injuries, Rollins was one of the likely picks to start for the American squad. Rollins played well in his last appearance for Team USA – in eight World Baseball Classic games, Rollins managed 24 at-bats while recording a .417 batting average. He also led Team USA in total bases with 18 during the tournament. His strikeout total was low, and he had an OPS of 1.250. Team USA lost in the semi-final round to Japan by a score of 9-4 in the most recent World Baseball Classic.
Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News made an interesting point about Rollins’ last appearance in the World Baseball Classic: particularly that Rollins struggled after playing for Team USA. In 2009, he was benched in early June, and finished the season with a batting average of .250. If there is one thing Phillies fans should be worried about, it is the production from their aging shortstop.
Rollins is coming off a season where he hit 23 home runs and knocked in 68 runs for a Phillies team that missed the postseason for the first time since 2007. The Phillies do not have any other representatives for Team USA, but they do have Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, and Pete Orr playing for Team Canada and Freddy Galvis playing for Team Venezuela.