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The Leader, Silenced: Philadelphia Phillies' Rollins Struggles Continue

NEW YORK - MAY 24:  Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies at bat against the New York Yankees on May 24, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Delete AccountContributor IJune 6, 2009

He promised the Phillies were the team to beat.  He said they would win 100 games, then 112 games.  He said he would break out of his "slump" with a .400 May. 

He was wrong, at least on the last one. 

Phillies' shortstop Jimmy Rollins is mired in a brutal early season "slump."  But when does a "slump" become reality?

Thus far, JRoll has hit at .219 clip, with a pedestrian .259 OBP.  He's sporting a nearly 50 percent flyball rate.  By comparison, the newly shelved Brett Myers was hitting .222, before injuring his hip.  

Rollins looks uninspired.  The same lazy swing has ended with the same maddening results through the first 53 games.  Early season struggles are no longer an excuse.  

It's June.  We're nearly 1/3 of the way through the season.  Rollins simply needs to start hitting.  

But let's stop for a second and think about the career of Jimmy Rollins.  Prior to his 2007 MVP campaign, JRoll hit over .290 just once.  His OBP has never climbed over .350. 

His power has always been marginal at-best.  Simply put, Rollins is not an elite player.

Proven results create lofty expectations; Rollins has proven he's elite just once in a nine year career.

So perhaps we've misperceived JRoll as one of the elite, a classification he just hasn't earned. 

A terror on the basepaths he is.  A strong, vocal leader?  Without a doubt.  But is Jimmy Rollins a top 20 player in the Majors? No.

His MVP season has blinded all of us, including the shortstop himself, into believing he's more than he is, which is an inconsistent, impatient, six or seven hole hitter, playing the part of a leadoff man.  

Jimmy Rollins is not as bad as he's been thus far this season.  He'll begin to hit soon enough, and with those hits will come more Phillies wins, but his career certainly indicates that perhaps we've relied too much on atypical results.

Maybe Jimmy Rollins is more talk than walk.

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