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The Season That Was: Scott Rolen

It didn't take Scott Rolen long to become a favorite around here. Mike Wilner was calling him ‘The Greatest Jay Ever', just a little tongue in cheek, after his first couple of games with the team.  We picked him up in one of those rare challenge trades, where you trade just a player for a player that plays the same position. Not a starter for a prospect but two players at about the same place in the game. GM's don't generally like to make trades like that because it is too easy to assign a winner and loser to it later on.

Rolen didn't have a great season in 2008; he missed a bunch of games to injury and hit just .262, with 11 homers.  With his defense, he was a valuable player but not a star. Troy Glaus on other hand hit 27 home runs in 2008 so it was looking like the Jays lost the trade. Then 2009 came.....

In the Community Project we guessed Scott would have a .355 OBP, a .460 SLG over 500 PA, which with good defense added up to a WAR of 4.1. Considering the season he had in 2008, I thought we were being pretty optimistic. What did he do? As a Jay:


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009 - Scott Rolen 88 338 52 108 29 0 8 43 26 42 4 2 .320 .370 .476

And as a Red:


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009 - Scott Rolen 40 137 24 37 7 1 3 24 19 20 1 2 .270 .364 .401

So in total he hit .305/.349/.455, over 535 PA. So we were pretty darn close. Fangraphs has him at a 3.8 WAR.

Rolen hit LHP (.274/.459/.591) far better than RHP (.283/.338/.411). But then he always has lefties better. .

He hit better at the Rogers Center (.321/.365/.519) than other places. He didn't hit well at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati (.239/.376/.388). He really should come back. 

He hit great with RISP (.331/.398/.444).

April        .317/.367/.427

May          .289/.392/.470

June        .384/.419/.547

July          .287/.301/.460

August      .288/.373/385

Sept/Oct   .259/.359/.412

His longest hitting streak was 25 games. You likely remember that, it went from June 8 to July 8 and we enjoyed it a lot. 

His favorite team to play? The Phillies (.450/.500/.800). Think he had some extra motivation? Team he hit the worst? The Orioles (.107/.235/.107). 

Defensively, he was great fun to watch. He seemed to make at least one amazing play every game.  Fangraphs doesn't like his defense as much as I do, they had him at a 5.3 UZR/150, which doesn't put him at the top of the list of third baseman. He made 5 errors and had a field average of .985, very good for a 3B. 

He is a player I really enjoyed watching but if he wanted out of Toronto then it's best that he was moved. I never think keeping a player that doesn't want to be on the team is a good move. I thought JP made was good a trade as you could hope for, considering there weren't many teams that he would have excepted going to. Zack Stewart will likely be at or near the top of our next prospect list. Edwin Encarnacion looked great at the end of the season and Josh Roenicki will likely become a useful piece in our bullpen. And Rolen's contract comes off the books next season. 

Rolen will be 35 next season and has been injury prone the last several year. But this past year, with Cito giving him the occasional day off, he stayed healthy, at least until he was hit in the head with a pitch. His defense is still great but I'm not sure how much longer he can play at this level. His contract ends after this year, I'm imagine that he won't be getting a long term contract after this one.