Jimmy Rollins wasn't expected to become the greatest shortstop in Philadelphia Phillies' history when he first played in Veterans Stadium in 2000. But, a few years after his mentor and manager Larry Bowa left the dugout at Citizens Bank Park, “J-Roll” had grabbed “Bo's” top spot.
Rollins is coming off a decent season in which some of his offensive numbers increased for the first time in a few years. After the crisp winds of spring training have blown, number 11 might help the famed core of Charlie Manuel's squad to take one last playoff ride next fall.
Due to a variety of money and age-related issues, the 2013 season appears to be the final flash of what was one of the greatest Phillies' teams in franchise history. While there are enough pieces in place to enable likely postseason contention for the next few years, Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz and Charlie Manuel are entering the final guaranteed years of their contracts.
Rollins' current financial agreement is set to end after the 2014 season. Depending upon how this campaign flows, he could be dealt by the trade deadline, moved during the offseason or play out his deal next year.
If anyone has the drive and remaining skills to help push the Phillies toward another pennant race and subsequent playoff chase, it's this California native. There's also no doubt that everyone in south Philadelphia will jump on this red pinstriped train if Rollins leads the engine this spring and summer.