The Phillies announced this evening they’ve hired former NL MVP Jimmy Rollins as a special advisor to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. According to the team, Rollins will “periodically assist the major league club in an on-field capacity and advise the front office with baseball operations decisions.” He will also continue to broadcast some of the team’s games as an analyst for NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“The addition of Jimmy Rollins to our baseball operations department is a significant gain for the Phillies,” Dombrowski said in the team’s press release announcing the move. “As one of the franchise’s all-time greats, Jimmy brings tremendous baseball instincts and an institutional knowledge of what it takes to win in Philadelphia. We look forward to his continued contributions to the Phillies.”
The 43-year-old Rollins released a statement of his own, saying he’s “honored to move into baseball operations and assist Dave and his staff. The Phillies mean a great deal to me, and I’ll do whatever I can to help get this team back to where it belongs, and that’s deep in October.”
Rollins, of course, is one of the best players in franchise history. He spent 15 seasons of a 17-year big league career in Philadelphia, donning a Phils uniform from 2000-14. During that run, the switch-hitting shortstop blossomed into one of the sport’s best players. He finished in third place in NL Rookie of the Year balloting in 2001, earning his first of three All-Star selections that season and leading the Senior Circuit with 46 stolen bases.
The Oakland native earned some down-ballot MVP support during his debut season, one of five years in which he’d garner votes. The pinnacle came in 2007, when Rollins was elected MVP after putting up a .296/.344/.531 line with 30 homers and a Gold Glove award for his defense. That season kicked off a string of five straight postseason appearances for the Phillies, highlighted by a 2008 campaign in which they vanquished the Rays in a five-game World Series.
As Rollins implied, it has been a while since the Phils have gotten back to those heights. That streak of consecutive playoff appearances was snapped in 2012, kicking off a ten-year postseason drought the team is hoping to snap in 2022.