In 2007, the Philadelphia Phillies looked poised to win a NL pennant and possibly a World Series. Most players in the lineup were hitting solidly, but there was one exception. That exception was SS Jimmy Rollins. In 2007, Rollins was named the NL MVP, batting .296 with 30 HRs, 94 RBIs, 20 triples and 41 SBs.
But 2007 seems like light years away, especially considering the way Rollins has been playing of late.
Since his MVP season, Rollins has failed to hit higher than .277. His home run total maxes out at a season high of 23 and he hasn’t topped 80 RBI, even those numbers are relatively grand considering what he has done or not done for the Phils the past two years. Last year, he batted a pedestrian .250 and when you thought it couldn’t get any hworse, it got worse and his numbers are down even more. Rollins only has five hrs and has only hit one since June 1.
As if Rollins’ numbers aren’t bad enough, his once prized ability as a lead off hitter has been tarnished. Jimmy “Pop-Up” as many call him, has failed to lead off games with any sort of excitement or abilities to get on base. Ben Revere took over lead off abilities, before getting injured and since his injury, Rollins has rarely batted in the lead off spot.
Add that to the fact that Rollins typically looks lackadaisical, occasionally running out a ground ball, but not all the time. His play in the field has suffered too. Rollins has been slow or late to balls numerous times in the past months, where the third baseman has had to make a tough play or leading to a single, infield single or a booted ball.
I understand that Rollins once was and still possibly is one of the hearts and souls of this team and city, but the Phillies have their hands tied here. His contract can’t run out fast enough, added to the fact he has publicly been a non-supporter of new manager Ryne Sandberg, Rollins should be thankful he’s getting an opportunity to play at this level continually.