Coming off a disappointing six-homer season, the 35-year-old Philadelphia mainstay seemed to make a bad impression on Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg during spring training. The issue led to some trade rumors, which were silenced by Rollins, and it seems that Sandberg and the shortstop have settled things for the time being.
With the issue hopefully out of the way, Rollins is set to take aim at some milestones in 2014, first among them the aforementioned 200-homer mark.
Rollins has always offered plus power for a shortstop, as he hit 14 home runs during his first full season in 2001, then fell between eight and 14 homers in each of the following four years. Those numbers, while solid, fell far short of his production in other areas.
From 2001 to 2005, Rollins led the league in triples three times and averaged 33.6 stolen bases per season, while playing strong defense at a premium position and appearing in at least 154 games each year.
Known as a player who provided value with his speed, defense, durability and balanced offensive approach, Rollins rewrote the book in 2006, slugging a then-career-best 25 home runs.
Then, in 2007, he took yet another step, hitting a career-best 30 homers on his way to becoming one of the more surprising National League MVP Award winners in recent history.
Rollins wasn't able to maintain that power, however, and fell back to 11 long balls in 2008 before posting highly variable totals of (chronologically) 21, eight, 16, 23 and six.
The inconsistency would look a bit better were it not for the fact that Rollins is 35. He's well acquainted with the bounce-back season, but at this point in his career, anything more than 8-12 dingers should be considered icing on the cake.
With that in mind, we may have to wait a few weeks, or possibly even months, for No. 200.
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