The Dodgers did not have extremely high expectations when they acquired the 36-year-old Jimmy Rollins from Philadelphia last December, but they could not imagine that it would have been this bad.
Rollins currently holds a slash line of .206/.273/.344, call career-lows. He has been equally terrible on the diamond, where his .966 fielding percentage is also a career-low and is below the league average of .969, but Rollins is a four-time Gold Glove winner and because of that, he is held to a higher standard.
The Dodgers have run out of patience with his lack of productivity, dropping him from the 2-hole to eighth. With the Dodgers in a recent scoring slump (the have averaged just 1.4 runs per game and have been shut out five times since May 16), they need as much offensive firepower as possible.
At this point, Dodgers fans are clamoring for the team to cut their losses and send Rollins to the bench. Fans want to see Corey Seager, one of the team’s top prospects who happens to play shortstop. Despite the open opportunity, however, Seager is simply not ready. He was promoted to Triple A earlier this season and while he is hitting the ball well, batting .300 with a trio of home runs and 15 RBI in 27 games, he is striking out often and not working the count well enough. In Triple A, Seager has struck out 20 times in 117 plate appearance and has drawn just six walks.
Additionally, Seager needs to improve with his glove. He has committed four errors in 23 games at shortstop and a fifth error at third base. He is holds a fielding percentage of just .957 at shortstop this year in Triple A, a significant dropoff from the .974 fielding percentage he displayed in 15 games at shortstop in Double A this year.
Seager has a lot of hype surrounding him. Baseball America ranks him as the fifth-best prospect in baseball today while MLB.com has him ranked sixth, but at age 21, he has plenty to work on. The Dodger may need to put him on a similar route that the Mariners did with his older brother, Kyle, and shift him over to third base in the end.
The younger Seager also received a glowing recommendation from Yasmani Grandal, who spend three games in Oklahoma City on rehab assignment and watched Seager for 11-for-14 in the process.
“He wasn’t missing a pitch down there, no matter if you threw it lefty of righty,” Grandal said to the L.A. Times.
Seager has certainly found his stroke in recent days with Oklahoma City, but the Dodgers need to make sure they do not make a knee-jerk reaction and promote Seager simply because he is on a hot streak and Rollins is ice cold. Let Seager continue to develop and see if he can not only maintain his tear, but also improve defensively before replacing Rollins.