Jimmy Rollins has transformed into a huge fan favorite in Philadelphia over the past few years with the team. However, after an increase in injuries and a decrease in numbers, is his time in Philadelphia coming to an end?
Rollins has a lot to prove in the upcoming 2011 season. Known for making his bold team predictions, Rollins might want to focus more on himself this season rather than the team.
Philly fans are beginning to face the harsh reality that Rollins just might not be what he used to be. After his huge season in 2007 in which he won the NL MVP award, his performances have dropped severely. After a season featuring 20 triples and 30 home runs, Rollins has had only 17 triples and 40 home runs in the past three seasons combined. His speed has also noticeably dropped in the past few seasons.
After a career-high 47 stolen bases in 2008, Rollins has just 48 stolen bases in 2009 and 2010. His run average has dropped severely as well. From 2004-2007, Rollins averaged 125 runs scored per year. From 2008-2010 however he is averaging just 75.
This is a huge difference for the man who was supposed to set the table for one of the league's most explosive offenses. This is a major part of the idea of moving Rollins out of the leadoff spot and into the fifth or sixth spot in the offense.
Ironically, ever since Rollins's numbers have dropped since 2007, the Phillies have won three more NL East titles, two pennants, and a World Series.
Who would you like to see at shortstop in 2012?
So the real question remains: are the Phillies ready to move on and replace Jimmy?
Better yet, are the Phillies willing to replace Rollins with Jose Reyes?
Reyes is a player much like Rollins in many different ways. When comparing stats, Reyes is nearly identical to Rollins in all major offensive categories. While he has slightly less power, he does have more speed than Rollins.
Rollins has a career average of 37 stolen bases per season, with 47 being his career high. Reyes, on the other hand, averages 58 stolen bases per year with 78 being his career high. Imagine the numbers he could put up if Davey Lopes was still around.
And oh, did I mention that Reyes is five years younger than Rollins?
The only other true factor separating these two All-Stars is their fielding. Reyes has tended to be somewhat of a streaky fielder at shortstop. Reyes averages a few more errors per season than Rollins and has never won a Gold Glove award. Rollins, on the other hand, has three Gold Gloves.
Again, with Rollins's contract expiring after the 2011 season, he has a lot to prove to both the fans and the organization in the upcoming year to give it a reason to resign him. Are Philly fans willing to let go of their hometown hero? If that answer is yes, then are they willing to bring in a rival player to fill that role?
Both these questions will have to be answered after this season, but the Phillies could surprise a lot of people if Rollins has another disappointing season in 2011.