When the Los Angeles Dodgers front office didn’t re-sign Hanley Ramirez as the team’s shortstop in the offseason, and instead traded for 36-year-old Jimmy Rollins, it was very clear what they were doing. They knew that top prospect Corey Seager was still a year away, and that they needed a shortstop to bridge the gap until he was ready.
While it seemed like the veteran Rollins was the perfect guy to do that, he is having the worst season of his 16-year career with the bat. Rollins is batting just .198 with an OPS of .593 this season. He began the season as the leadoff hitter, but now finds himself in the eight-hole.
While he has struggled with the bat, according to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Rollins believes that his glove has been good enough to keep his starting job:
Two out of three [leadership and defense] is about what I have now,” he said, “until the offensive side comes.
“We’re all waiting for it. I’m not worried about it. I’d love to see the results, but worrying will never solve anything. I’ll just stay in the cage and get to work.”
Rollins has won four Gold Gloves in his career, but even his defense this year has been less than stellar. He has made six errors on the season, which amounts to a .974 fielding percentage. That ranks ninth out of 15 qualified National League shortstops.
While he hasn’t played at an All-Star caliber this year, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly still believes his shortstop has been doing good things:
As far as his attitude and what he brings to the table, nothing has changed,” Mattingly said. “I know he’s not happy with the way he is swinging the bat. It hasn’t affected his personality. It hasn’t affected his defense.”
Seager is batting .296 at Triple-A Oklahoma City, with a .351 on-base percentage and .459 slugging percentage this season. Andrew Friedman did say they wouldn’t rush the prospect, but also didn’t rule out a promotion this season.
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