Hitting is Hard. Just Ask Jimmy Rollins

Michael GrossContributor IApril 28, 2009

DENVER - APRIL 10:  Shortstop Jimmy Rollins #11 of the Philadelphia Phillies takes an at bat against the Colorado Rockies during MLB action on Opening Day at Coors Field on April 10, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Phillies 10-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Jimmy Rollins is known for a lot of things—great defense, leadership, swagger—and terrible Aprils.

Rollins took a second day off yesterday in a season that has started slowly, even for him. While the theory that he didn't get enough at-bats during Spring Training is still out there, it is losing credibility rapidly as Rollins is over 70 plate appearances for the year and still isn't showing signs of offensive revival. 

The usually confident shortstop sounds humbled these days, as he recently talked about simply getting good at-bats and trying to hit the ball on the barrel. Past history would indicate that Rollins will eventually heat up, and his average will probably rise into the .260s at some point this season.

But for a past MVP, Rollins is a very inconsistent offensive player and probably overrated due to clutch hits and his one career year. 

Jimmy's biggest problem is when he's going bad, he's very bad, as he doesn't even draw walks. Rollins has three walks this season (the same number as Jamie Moyer), has never drawn 60 in a year, and has never had a .350 on-base percentage. His career high was .349 last season, and that ranked him 76th among MLB regulars. 

Rollins will never be a 100-walk guy, lead the league in OBP, or be a prototypical leadoff hitter, but this is his 10th year in the league, and it would be nice to see a little growth and maturity. 

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Rollins has to realize he's going bad, see as many pitches as possible, and try to get on base. If he could work a couple walks, steal some bags, and score some runs, it might alleviate some of the pressure and build some confidence.

You have to take the good with the bad with Rollins' play, and the way things have started this season, we're due for a long run of the good. 

It can't come soon enough.

Article first published at Three Putt Territory

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