J-Roll's Woes: What's Going On?


rollins makes history.jpgJimmy Rollins
said the past few days have felt a lot like 2007.

The swing is quicker.

The timing feels right.

Of course, 2009 has been nothing like ’07. Rollins is hitting just .217 with 13 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 25 RBIs, a .254 on-base percentage and a .330 slugging percentage. He is on pace for the worst first half of his career.

Why?

I took a look at a couple different reasons yesterday. Baseball Prospectus has a statistic called BABIP, which is batting average on balls in play. It includes plate appearances that don’t result in a walk, strikeout or home run. Rollins’ BABIP this season is .225. His career mark is .295. The NL average this season is .296.

Fielders are catching a ton of balls that Rollins puts in play, which suggests he has run into some bad luck. But I also mention how FanGraphs Baseball measures how players make outs. Rollins has hit line drives for 17.1 percent of his outs this season, which is the lowest percentage of line drive outs in his career. Rollins also has hit infield fly balls for outs 14.4 percent of the time, which is the highest percentage of his career.

Fewer line drives and more infield pop ups mean Rollins hasn’t been hitting the ball as hard as he has in the past.

“I’m not swinging the bat as well,” Rollins said.

He hasn’t walked since May 27. That is 16 consecutive games without a walk. He also has seen 3.69 pitches per plate appearance, which is his lowest total since 2005. In other words, while Rollins may have run into some bad luck, there are other more important factors at play (not hitting the ball as hard, not being as patient at the plate, etc.).

But history suggests things will improve. First, Rollins entered the season a .277 career hitter. He is much better than he has shown. Second, Rollins always has been a better hitter in the second half. He hits 22 points higher in the second half. His on-base percentage is 32 points higher. His slugging percentage is 51 points higher.

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As Rollins struggles through the worst first half of his career, he could be headed to the All-Star Game. He leads NL shortstops with 1,216,007 votes. That is 87,460 more votes than Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who is hitting .330 with 20 doubles, eight home runs, 34 RBIs, a .395 on-base percentage and a .519 slugging percentage.

But does he deserve to go?

“It depends what numbers you’re talking about,” Rollins said. “If you want to talk All-Star Game, you pick the best at their position. I still fit in that category. What makes the criteria?”

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19 Comments

I’m not sure where you’re going with this. I just about laughed at the artciles yesterday declaring it was just a matter of bad luck. Your post today starts out saying it’s bad luck, too, but uses actual numbers to state that it’s not. Anyone can see that Rollins isn’t taking pitches and is popping up A LOT. The sole job of a leadoff hitter is to get on base – and on this lineup that’s all a leadoff hitter has to do in order to score – how many runs have been missed out on because he won’t take a walk?

Jimmy is frustrating to watch and why Charlie insists on keepping him in the leadoff spot is beyond me. At this rate he will have the worste numbers for a leadoff hiiter in IN BASEBALL HISTORY!!! I wish he’d take one for the team and stop insisting he needs to be the leadoff hitter and I wish Manuel would act like the manger and keep him down in the order. Rollins always talks the talk – it’s time to see results. Everyone else on the team has a better OPS than him – it’s time to keep him in the 6 hole for at least a month. Suck it up, Jimmy!

I think the worst stat that I see there is that he hasn’t walked since May 27th. That’s absurd!
But I am not going to question Chollie in his insistence that JRoll lead off. I used to do that until he managed the team to a World F’ing Championship, with his own style. He just sat Raul for the first time this year, against a righthanded pitcher yet, and they scored 11 runs. Go figure.

Jimmy’s ‘too cool for school’ attitude really gets on my nerves when he constantly pops up, then goes in the dugout and giggles. Man up and fix the problem. Hitting 6th, he sort of came out of the slump, back in the lead off hole he tanked again. C’mon Charlie, what gives? His glove work is still great, but I cringe whenever I see you walk to the plate. I know his ego won’t allow it, but even if he does get voted to start the All Star Game, maybe he should take those four days and figure out what’s wrong. There are bigger things at stake here.

Jimmy can get away with it for now while the team is in first place, but he really needs to get back to getting on base. And I don’t want him to change his attitude. That is a big part of the attitude of the team, thinking positive all the time. If he didn’t do his ‘cool’ act he may start moping, which would suck.
And if he gets voted into the All-Star game I’m fine with it. He just won a World F’ing Championship and he wasn’t on the team during his MVP season.

I love this team’s attitude. A quiet assurance that they can win even after a loss. J-Roll is probably the only player who comes across “prima donna” like, but he does it in a way that shows his leadership on the team. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that with his HR on Sunday, this is the start of a hitting streak! GO PHILS!

I agree with you phan52. I don’t want him to change his attitude either. It’s part of who Jimmy is and I too believe it’s a part of the team attitude. But I DO wish he’d change his batting approach!

Heard a rumor that KC is willing to send us Gil Meche for Donald Mayberry and Kendrick. Anyone else hear this? Thoughts on it?

According to this post – Rollins woes are coming from bad luck and the inability to hit a fastball (3rd worst in baseball)… the article isn’t just about Rollins and has some awesome stuff about what pitches Phillies hitters can and can’t hit, as well and swing and contact data…I highly recommend checking it out…

http://www.reclinergm.com/digging-deeper-breaking-down-the-phillies-offense-with-unique-metrics/

f-i-j, if that rumor is true, I hope the Phils don’t do it as a gift to Arbuckle for everything he did for the franchise that resulted in the WS victory. Meche is pitching well so far this year, but the guy lacks consistancy, although lately he’s been looking unhittable. Still, I think Mayberry has potential to be a right-handed Ryan Howard. And Donald should be our 3rd baseman next year. Then again, I have been saying that Reuben would find some under the radar.

erich, Donald hasn’t shown the ability to be a MLB third baseman. I think his role as a Phillie would be nothing more than a utility player, so they can and should use him in a trade for pitching help. The Phillies have an option on Feliz and they should use it.

Romero is pitching better than our ‘ace’ tonight. I guess everybody is going to line up their lefties against us all season, as they should.

Cole Hamels may not win 12 games this year. J.C. had trouble walking everyone. Madson also had trouble getting his pitches in this umpire’s zone. Condrey is giving up hits. Is it possible the pen is rusty after a day off yesterday?

Is it my imagination or are the Phillie relief pitchers walking every other hitter?

It’s not your imagination. Now they’re walking EVERY hitter.

How did every pitcher in the bullpen suddenly forget how to throw a strike. Wait Charlie don’t change pitchers. Clay can walk two more guys at least. Nice 34-pitch third of an inning. Walker is as bad as we thought he’d be. This has turned into the worst game of the year for our bullpen. What happened?

What happened to these guys on their day off yesterday? Did they have such a good time that they decided to take today off too?

What happened to these guys on their day off yesterday? Did they have such a good time that they decided to take today off too?

Sometimes a day off, ISN’T good for pitchers. Everything tightens up. Wonder what the outcome might have been, if Charlie had let Durbin pitch another inning.

F_I_J, I’d take that trade, definitely. Where’d you hear it? Meche’s already great 3.31 ERA doesn’t do him justice – his fielding independent pitching (FIP) is almost a half a run lower at 2.91, meaning the KC defense is screwing him a bit. His WHIP is 1.34, he’s only letting up 0.21 home runs per 9, which is definitely an issue for our rotation right now.

He’s only 31, and he’s cost controlled for 2010 and 2011 at a reasonable $12 mil each year. I say do it.

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