Sliding and rolling are two outstanding deformation modes in granular media. The first one induces frictional dissipation whereas the latter one involves deformation with negligible resistance. Using numerical simulations on two-dimensional shear cells, we investigate the effect of the grain rotation on the energy dissipation and the strength of granular materials under quasistatic shear deformation. Rolling and sliding are quantified in terms of the so-called Cosserat rotations. The observed spontaneous formation of vorticity cells and clusters of rotating bearings may provide an explanation for the long standing heat flow paradox of earthquake dynamics.