Rollins proved to be pleasant surprise in disappointing season

A number of fans and some baseball pundits had issues with Jimmy Rollins’ three-year contract extension. The word was that Rollins numbers would sink and there could be health issues for the shortstop with too many miles on the odometer.

As the season ends, it appears that Rollins was a bargain at $11 million a year. Rollins, who is suffering from a calf injury, played in 156 games this season. Rollins has 699 plate appearances, his most since 2009. He will finish as the team leader in homers with 23, the most since his 2007 MVP season. He has more than 100 runs scored, which is the sixth time he has reached the century mark.

“I know I can still do it,” Rollins said. “I can still play this game at a high level. I think I proved that this year. I can make things happen at the plate.”

And then there is his defense. “I’ve been doing it out there [at shortstop] for a long time,” Rollins said. “I expect to continue doing it for years to come.”

This is perhaps the most disappointing season of Rollins’ career. He really thought he would lead the Phillies back from an extreme deficit in late August to score the second wild-card spot. It wasn’t to be, but Rollins put the team on his back for the first two weeks of September. The confidence Rollins exudes is a huge intangible.

“That’s the way it’s always been with me,” Rollins said. “I have strong beliefs.

Rollins believes the Phillies can come back strong in 2013.

“If we can be healthy, or healthier than we were this year, with the guys we have, I wouldn’t bet against us,” Rollins said. “We had a lot of bad luck and a crazy amount of injuries to key players. Hopefully next year we’ll catch some breaks with health. If we have that going for us, watch out.”