The Phils are expected to strike a deal with Jimmy Rollins, but retaining the 33-year-old shortstop doesn't reverse the club's aging and declining core.
Beerleaguer: Most of the Phillies writers have identified signs that a deal may finally be coming, perhaps in the next 24 hours. If so, that means two things: the club won't be left high and dry with Wilson Valdez or a noob like Freddy Galvis at short; and second, the starting lineup still hasn’t been significantly improved. With Rollins, it’s largely the same drained offense that was literally carried off the field in a brutal Division Series flop.
Shortstop, in and of itself, isn’t the problem. The larger issue - and a patently obvious one, really - is this ticking timebomb of an infield, Rollins included, one that can't stay on the field and has spiraled into precipitous decline for several years now.
Chase Utley has become a dead-pull middling power threat who has actually become a liability against left-handed pitching. He just hasn't been the same since his hip gave way and now must play through the pain because his knee cannot be repaired through surgery. Ryan Howard, scripted to be Philly's core power producer for years to come, just recently transitioned from crutches into a boot after rupturing his Achilles close to two months ago. Placido Polanco is made of egg shells and has been sidelined with a gimpy back, hip and elbow, all in the last calendar year. Rollins' game is still dependent, largely, on speed.
How much longer will that last? Not for another four years, certainly.