Among the litany of complaints that I have heard about this Phillies team, the one that confuses me most involves the four-year, $38 million deal that Jimmy Rollins signed this offseason. I expounded on that confusion in today's Daily News, which you can read here. Now is an interesting time to have this discussion, because the last time the Phillies played the Dodgers, Rollins was also a focal point. It was early June, and Rollins was coming off an awful two-month start to the season. The start of a four-game home series against the Dodgers brought plenty of questions from reporters about whether Rollins should continue to leadoff, or whether Juan Pierre should assume those duties. They were legitimate questions at the time. So were the questions about Rollins' contract when he signed it.
What I don't understand is how anybody can look at anything that has happened since both of those occasions and use it to denigrate Rollins.
On June 5, I wrote a column defending Rollins, pointing out that he usually hits well after June 1 and that Pierre lacked the power the Phillies needed in their lineup. Since that day, Rollins has hit .292 with a .354 on base percentage, a .569 slugging percentage, and seven home runs in 158 plate appearances. Pierre, meanwhile, has hit .277/.313/.383 with one home run in 102 plate appearances. Rollins has outperformed Pierre in every major category, yet some still think Pierre is more valuable to the Phillies' offense. Same goes for Freddy Galvis. Can somebody explain to me what, exactly they saw out of Galvis that makes them think that he would not be a huge offensive liability next season? In 200 plate appearances this season, Galvis hit .226 with a .254 on base percentage. Every time he stepped to the plate, he had a 75 percent chance of making an out. That matters. I understand the appeal of Galvis' defensive prowess and youthful exuberance. But you gotta hit.
My bigger point, though, is that Rollins is not as overpaid as you think he is.