Well, that’s what happens folks when an already bad market for free agent short-stops crumbles right before your eyes. Good for the Phillies, bad for Jimmy Rollins.
Not that I’m complaining though. I’m glad Jimmy Rollins is back. Rarely do you get to see a home-grown player spend most of, if not all of their career in one city. It almost never happens in Philadelphia.
If the Phillies pick up Rollins’ 4th year option, he’ll be 37 at the end of this contract. There have really only been a handful of shortstops who’ve been solid past 33. Omar Visquel is the first one that comes to mind. Derek Jeter, Ozzie Smith, and Cal Ripken are a few others, but those guys are all Hall of Fame caliber players.
Rueben Amaro didn’t seem to0 worried about Rollins’ age, and in a recent radio appearance, backed off earlier comments that the Phillies needed to be more disciplined at the plate, instead of swinging at the first pitch and not working counts. We all know that he was talking to Jimmy Rollins when he said this. Although other guys are guilty of it too, I’ve lost count of the times where Jimmy popped up the first pitch with 1 out and a man in scoring position.
There’s been much debate on where he should bat in the order, and many smart “baseball people” believe that Rollins isn’t a true lead-off hitter anymore. I tend to agree with this notion and think Shane Victorino is better suited in that role. Victorino has speed, and can hit from both sides like Jimmy, although he tends to work counts more than Jimmy does which is important for many reasons. It also makes sense to have someone lead-off whose batting average is closer to .300 than it is to .250.
One thing is for sure, Jimmy Rollins still plays excellent defense, and with question marks surrounding 1st and 3rd base, the Phillies could ill afford to lose another solid defensive piece in the infield.
It will be interesting to see how Rollins plays this coming year. Everyone performs well in a contract year, so I want to see what he’ll do now that he has his money.