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New York Mets Need to Reconsider Their Stance on Amed Rosario

May 19th, 2017 at 8:13 AM
By Mike Phillips

The New York Mets are fading fast, having lost seven games in a row and 20 of their past 29. Things appear hopeless on the pitching front, with the staff having the worst ERA in the major leagues and the bullpen completely overworked right now. There are also a few holes in the lineup, namely Curtis Granderson and Jose Reyes, who has been manning shortstop since Asdrubal Cabrera got hurt. Despite all the struggles, the Mets have to this point refused to recall their top prospect, shortstop Amed Rosario, from Triple-A Las Vegas. Rosario is crushing the Pacific Coast League, batting .365 with 11 doubles, two triples, three homers, and 27 RBI's in 156 at bats. The Mets have insisted they want to give Rosario more time to develop at Triple-A, but they should seriously reconsider their stance.

Rosario is the team's future at shortstop, and bringing him to Flushing now could provide an infusion of youth and energy that could wake up the team. The Mets could really use that energy boost at the moment, something other teams have gotten from promoting their top prospects this season. The Los Angeles Dodgers got a jolt when they brought up first baseman Cody Bellinger from Triple-A, and he has rewarded their faith in him by batting .308 with seven homers and 20 RBI's in just 78 at bats. The Chicago Cubs also received a boost when they added one of their top prospects, second baseman Ian Happ, to the majors even though they had a logjam at several positions. Happ has gotten off to a hot start, batting .308 with two homers and four RBI's in his first 13 at bats, and has forced the Cubs to consider keeping him at the big league level even with several injured players returning to health.

While there is no guarantee that Rosario can have an instant impact like Bellinger or Happ, it's not exactly like the Mets are getting a ton of production out of the shortstop position to begin with. Mets' shortstops are batting just .216 on the season, which is the ninth worst mark in baseball, so even if Rosario came up and hit .250 it would be an upgrade over what they have been getting from Cabrera and Reyes. Cabrera struggled at the plate after suffering a thumb injury, and that injury has since landed him on the disabled list. Reyes has been hitting a bit better lately, but is still batting just .194 in 139 at bats.

Even if Rosario is simply average with the bat at first, he could offer the Mets some huge upgrades in areas where they are lacking: speed and defensive ability. Rosario has plus speed and has already stolen eight bases for the Las Vegas 51's, and he could allow the Mets to be creative on the basepaths, something no one on the team besides Reyes and Juan Lagares can offer. The biggest benefit for the Mets, however, would be Rosario's defense at shortstop. The Mets' infield defense has been bad this season, with Cabrera and Neil Walker showing diminished range up the middle, putting more pressure on the pitchers to try and rack up the strikeouts. Rosario is a Gold Glove caliber defender right now, and with him on the infield it could allow the pitchers to pitch to contact more since they would have more confidence the plays could be made behind them. That in turn could create a ripple effect, lowering pitch counts and allowing the starters to get deeper into games, which would then in turn ease the burden on the overworked bullpen.

There is really nothing to lose right now by promoting Rosario, who will instantly upgrade the defense and could provide a jolt to the team. The Mets could also have something positive to promote to the media and fans, who have currently been fixating on all of the players who are either injured or underperforming. Rosario has certainly done enough to earn his opportunity at the big league level, and the Mets shouldn't be afraid to give their best prospect a shot at the big league level.

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Tags: Amed Rosario, Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Mets

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