Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that former Giants’ shortstop Jimmy Rollins is considering retirement after being released by the team on Friday. The veteran infielder batted .125/.222/.250 with the Giants this spring and was told earlier in the week that he would not make the club’s Opening Day roster.
Rollins, 38, could hang up his cleats after 17 seasons in the big leagues. He spent the bulk of his career in Philadelphia, contributing 49.3 fWAR from 2000 through 2014 with three All-Star bids, four Gold Gloves, one Silver Slugger and top honors as the 2007 NL MVP to boot.
Per FanGraphs, the veteran’s value hasn’t exceeded 0.3 fWAR in a single season since his last hurrah with the Phillies in 2014. He’s bounced around the league during the last two years, landing with the Dodgers in 2015 and latching onto the White Sox during the first half of the 2016 season. Rollins cracked the Opening Day roster in Chicago and batted just .221/.295/.329 with two home runs before the team DFA’d him to make room for 23-year-old prospect Tim Anderson in June. While he may not want to consider retirement just yet, as Giants’ outfielder Denard Span mentioned on Friday, his age and poor showing this spring might leave him without much of a choice.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.