30-year old switch hitting shortstop Jimmy Rollins had a off year at the plate in 2008 after winning the N.L. MVP Award in 2007. The Phillies expect that Rollins will rebound in a big way in 2009. Rollins played in 137 games for the Phillies last season and he was 154 for 556 (.277 avg, .786 OPS) with 76 runs scored, 11 homers, 59 RBIs and 47 stolen bases. Rollins was still very good in the field making only 7 errors in 132 games at shortstop for the Phillies last season while showing good range.
Eric Bruntlett will be Rollins’ caddy for the 2009 season. He made 4 errors in 35 games at shortstop last season for the Phillies while showing slightly below average range. It’s imperative that Jimmy Rollins stays healthy because the dropoff to Bruntlett is huge.
34-year old righty swinging Jorge Velandia will likely start the season in AAA and provide organizational depth at shortstop. He played in 10 games for the Indians and Blue Jays last season in which he was 3 for 15 (.200 avg, .517 OPS) with 1 run scored. He also played in 80 games in AAA-ball last season in which he was 70 for 300 (.233 avg) with 34 runs scored, 3 homers and 20 RBIs. Don’t expect much out of him in 2009.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: A-