Mired in a slump that’s stretched over the last two weeks, Jimmy Rollins was removed from the leadoff spot in the Los Angeles Dodgers most recent game for the first time this season. The veteran shortstop didn’t drop far in the order as he batted second behind Joc Pederson.
The change came shortly after Rollins discussed his slump and spoke of the feeling that he’s around the corner from better days at the plate. While Rollins continues to search for his footing at the plate, manager Don Mattingly spoke highly of the shortstop’s leadership, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
Little things that aren’t always going to show up on paper are things we’re really comfortable with Jimmy,” Mattingly said. “A number of times, I’ve seen games where it gets a little bit hairy. Next thing I notice Jimmy’s at the mound or Howie’s at the mound.”
Mattingly also credited Rollins for the moments where he has delivered at the plate:
There’s a lot of things, an intangible side of Jimmy, that have been really good. Offensively, from the standpoint of batting average, it’s probably not as good as Jimmy would want or we think we’re going to get. But he’s had some big hits for us, it seems like, and he’s making a positive impact.”
When Rollins arrived in Los Angeles he didn’t pull any punches when discussing the importance of leadership, and his desire and willingness to be among the clubhouse leaders. On a recent episode of SportsNet LA’s “Connected With…” series, Rollins again made mention of his goal to win a World Series in Los Angeles.
“I would love to make another All-Star team, I’d love to be MVP again, but that’s ok if I’m not,” Rollins said. “But winning a championship again, that’s why I’m still here and that’s why I chose this place because they have everything that it needs to win a championship. I’m here now for that reason.”
Through 21 games (19 starts) this season, Rollins biggest highlight is the go-ahead, three-run home run he hit in the eighth inning on Opening Day to lift the Dodgers to a win over the San Diego Padres.
Jimmy Rollins Discusses Leadership And World Series