Last season marked the first time since 2007 the Philadelphia Phillies failed to win the NL East, as they dealt with too many injuries at the beginning of the season and would end up finishing in third place behind the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves. While things may not have worked out the way they would have liked it to last season, there was at least one player that had a good enough season to catch the eye of Joe Torre to play on Team USA in this year’s World Baseball Classic–Jimmy Rollins.
The star shortstop was selected for this year’s squad on Thursday as he’ll be participating in the tournament for Team USA for the second-straight time (2009). Despite his batting average dropping to .250 in 2012, Rollins did manage to hit 23 home runs and 68 RBIs–both up from the 2011 season.
Rollins has never been the type of player known for displaying big numbers, but more so for his defense and speed when he manages to get on base. The addition of Rollins should be a major advantage for Team USA heading into this year’s tournament as they look to end Japan’s streak of winning the last two tournaments.
As for Philadelphia’s season, there’s no reason why this team shouldn’t be able to compete with the rest of the four teams (can we really count the Miami Marlins?) for the NL East title once again in 2013. Just like the case was in 2012, the key factor for the Phillies will be whether or not their key players stay healthy–including Rollins.
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