Debunking The Rosario Excuses
Fact is, the Mets season is on the brink. They need to upgrade anywhere they can in order to help get the Mets season back on track. For many, that starts with calling up Amed Rosario. In response, many have offered excuses as to why the Mets shouldn’t call-up Rosario. In reality, they are flimsy excuses. Let’s go through them one-by-one:
EXCUSE #1: The Pitching Is the Problem and Rosario Doesn’t Pitch
Yes, the Mets and their MLB worst ERA is a big problem, and no, Rosario doesn’t pitch. However, the Mets right now are playing Jose Reyes and his .189/.269/.310 batting line at shortstop. Assuming the pitching doesn’t get any better, the Mets are going to have to out-slug teams to win games. Reyes is not going to help that.
Also, the Mets defense at short has been terrible. They rank dead last with a -9 DRS. Better defense at an important defensive position like shortstop will only serve to help a pitching staff. Take Robert Gsellman for example. He has a 58% ground ball rate, and he is allowing a .368 BABIP. With a better shortstop, especially one like Rosario who projects to be a very good defender, that BABIP can go down. That is the result of Rosario being able to get to more balls and the rest of the infield being better positioned as a result. That could result in a lower BABIP, which means base hits becomes outs. Rallies thereby end sooner or don’t begin in the first place. Gsellman can then go deeper into games and take pressure off the bullpen.
EXCUSE #2 You Don’t Want Rosario Up On a Short-Term Basis
Who says is has to be on a short-term basis? Even assuming Asdrubal Cabrera is ready to come back at the end of his 10 day disabled list stint, why couldn’t Rosario stay in the major leagues? You have the option to move Rosario to third base if you so choose. You also have the option of moving Cabrera and his poor range to third base. If Rosario comes up, and he’s shown he can play well defensively and hit well, he has shown he belongs to play at the major league level. If that is the case, keep him up.
EXCUSE #3 He Doesn’t Have Enough Triple-A At-Bats
There is no precise formula detailing how many at-bats are needed in Triple-A. Miguel Cabrera never played in Triple-A before his call-up, and he is well on his way to the Hall of Fame. Matt Reynolds has 1,145 at-bats in Triple-A, and he is still not ready to consistently hit major league pitching. There is no tried and true formula to follow. Rosario has shown he can hit in Triple-A. You either believe in him, or you don’t.
Excuse #4 You Don’t Want Him to Struggle and Be Sent Down
Why? Keith Hernandez struggled as a 21 year old, and he was sent down. After that, Hernandez won an MVP, 11 Gold Gloves, and two World Series titles. After jumping on the scene in 2015, Michael Conforto had a nightmare of a 2016. So far this year, he is hitting .327/.413/.654 with nine homers and 24 RBI. Overall, if you are going to be great at the major league level like many believe Rosario will be, one set-back is not going to prevent you from fulfilling your potential.
EXCUSE #5 You Don’t Want to Bring Him Up into a Losing Situation
The corollary of this is you don’t want to bring up a prospect expecting him to be a savior. In 1983, the Mets were nine games under .500 when Darryl Strawberry was called-up to the majors. In 2003, the Mets were seven games under .500 when Reyes was called-up. In 2004, the Mets were one game under .500 when David Wright was called-up to the majors.
Each of these players were immensely talented, and they have each had successful careers. Being called-up into a losing situation or being asked to be a savior didn’t prevent them from being terrific players.
EXCUSE #6 He’s Had Too Many Errors This Year
Reyes and Cabrera have combined to post a -9 DRS, which again, is the worst in the majors. Looking at how the team was built top to bottom, defense has been not incentivized. Now all of a sudden, the Mets are going to care about defense when it comes to a player with plus range for the position? Further, if he’s struggling, get him away from the terrible infield at Cashman Field, and get him some major league coaching. You’re likely going to see a better defender out there.
EXCUSE #7 Calling Him Up Sends a Signal the Team is Panicking
Shouldn’t the Mets be panicking at this point? The team has the worst ERA in baseball. Their ace and closer are likely gone for the season. They are already nine games behind the Nationals. By all means, the Mets should be panicking. Even if they aren’t panicking, they should be concerned. The best way to address this would be to address the concerns the team has. One of those concerns is the offensive and defensive production they get from shortstop. Rosario can alleviate those concerns.
EXCUSE #8 He’s Not Ready to Hit Major League Pitching
On this front, you have to defer to the front office. Despite Rosario’s terrific Triple-A numbers, we don’t really have a breakdown on his ability to hit a fastball or breaking pitches. They can justifiably be seeing something we don’t see. Still, the team is willing to go with Reyes, his poor defense, and his .189 batting average at the position. Even if Rosario were to put up similar offensive numbers to Reyes, he’s going to do that with much better defense. As a result, the Mets would be a better team with him on the field. Furthermore, it should be noted that if he needs to make some improvements at the plate, he would be better served by working with Kevin Long. \n
EXCUSE #9 What Do You Do With Him When Cabrera Returns?
Thumb issues like this are tricky. We saw Juan Lagares try to play through a torn ligament in his thumb until he was finally forced to have surgery to repair the tear. We still do not know if Cabrera needs surgery. We don’t know if this is a two week or two month injury.
Assume for a minute Cabrera will be back sooner rather than later, the Mets have an opportunity to give Rosario a brief look at shortstop. At the very least, it’s a reward for him being the time in to become an improved player. It presents an opportunity to see if Rosario is ready. When and if Cabrera comes back, the Mets can then judge if Rosario should stay up with the team or go back down to Triple-A. If he were to go back down, he will have a better idea of what he needs to work on in order to stick at the major league level.
EXCUSE #10 You Don’t Want to Have Rosario Become a Super Two Player
Overall, that’s the point. If you are truly all-in, you do everything you can do to improve your team. You do everything you can do to win games. Every day the Mets keep Rosario in Vegas is another day this team is not all-in. Rather, the team is letting everyone know they would rather lose with what they have this year.