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« Brett Gardner's Discipline | Main | Marmol's Ups and Downs »

Jimmy Rollins' Regression

In his recent blog post, Buster Olney cites some of the topics of interest in each spring training camp this year. For the Phillies, he notes Jimmy Rollins’ "three season regression." Indeed, Rollins has yet to duplicate his 2007 MVP season numbers in which he hit .296/.344/.531 with a league leading 20 triples and a career high 30 home runs.

One of the problems contributing to Rollins’ troubles has been a noticeable decline in his ability to hit from the left side.

Jimmy Rollins vs. RHP

Rollins generates most of his power on pitches inside when batting left handed. Over the past 3 years, that power has faded.

Jimmy Rollins

Compare the graphic above to his overall in play rates over the same time.

Jimmy Rollins

Rollins puts more balls in play on outside pitches, an area he normally does not produce extra base hits.

It doesn’t help that Rollins prefers to swing at pitches outside either.

Jimmy Rollins Swinging

So as a LHB, Rollins is swinging more at outside pitches which is dragging down his overall numbers. In the selected zone above, Rollins put up a .295 wOBA despite making contact 91.5% of the time. Until he can prove that he can do some damage on pitches outside, right-handed pitchers will have little incentive to pitch him anywhere else.

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