When the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Jimmy Rollins during the offseason they did so with Corey Seager’s name in the back of their head the entire time.
Rollins himself knew that if traded to the Dodgers, it would most likely only be an interim position until the future starting shortstop for the made his debut in Dodgers Blue. Even though Rollins may have struggled offensively in his beginnings as a Dodger, the leadership that the veteran provided in the clubhouse has paid in dividends not necessarily on a stat sheet.
Super utility player and banana aficionado, Kiké Hernandez, sent out a heartwarming tweet praising Jimmy Rollins for his influence on the 23-year old:
— Enrique Hernandez (@kikehndez) August 12, 2015
Rollins and Yasiel Puig have also seemed to form a friendship, as they have often been spotted embracing, presumably in the absence of Puig’s rehabbing buddy Hyun-Jin Ryu. Young players such as, Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Jose Peraza, Puig and even other veterans should all take advantage of the experience Rollins accumulated over his 15 seasons with Philadelphia.
Even though Rollins has been less than dazzling with the bat this season (although 11 home runs is not shabby for a shortstop), he’s made up for low batting average by providing exceptional defense at shortstop and an influential veteran presence in the clubhouse and on the field.
Rollins has been reliable at the keystone position as well, playing in the third-most games by a Dodger this season (112). When the Dodgers visited Citizen Bank Park, he received a large ovation in each of the games during the series.
The 2007 National League MVP and 2008 World Series Champion brought his infectious smile to Los Angeles while leaving the negativity in Philly; Rollins admitted the 2014 Philadelphia locker room was a “rough place.”
Rollins appears to mesh better with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly than he did with then-Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg in the City of Brotherly Love. Rollins now routinely is seen grinning in the dugout, if not hugging Puig and mentoring Hernandez.
CONTINUE READING: Influence Jimmy Rollins Could Have On Corey Seager