Guillorme, Not Reyes Should Play SS If Rosario Isn’t Ready for Opening Day

On March 4th, Amed Rosario was hit on the kneecap with a pitch. He’s undergone an MRI, and it came back negative. While that is great news, it is important to note Rosario has not played since that March 4th game. More to the point, he is no longer being listed on the group of players available to participate in Spring Training games. When he will be able to return to the Mets is anyone’s guess right now.

The Mets are easing Rosario back, but given how this is the Mets, Rosario’s status for Opening Day is still in doubt. As such, it is time the Mets begin looking at alternative options.

To some, the answer should obviously be Jose Reyes. Reyes was signed to be the team’s top utility player, and as an extension of those duties, Reyes is the most obvious candidate to step-in and play any infield position for long stretches of time should any of the regulars get injured.

While the obvious choice, Reyes may not necessarily be the correct choice.

Defensively, Reyes’ -27 DRS made him the worst infielder in Major League Baseball last year. At his natural position of shortstop, Reyes had a -15 DRS in 630.1 innings played there last season. Believe it or not, the last time Reyes had a positive DRS season at shortstop was in 2007.

Given his experience at the position, the Mets would be more than jusified putting Reyes at shortstop for the occasional game. However, asking him to play there for extended periods of time would be to significantly compromise the Mets defense. Worse yet, you are doing that at the most important defensive position.

With the Mets signing Todd Frazier to play third, the left side of the infield defense has become one of the strengths for this Mets team. It would certainly behoove the team to keep it that way even in Rosario’s absence. That is why the Mets should really consider Luis Guillorme to take over for Rosario should he not be able to play on Opening Day.

In the absence of Rosario, Guillorme is the best defensive shortstop in the Mets organization. In fact, there are some who would argue Guillorme is the better of the two. Playing Guillorme at short in Rosario’s absence would maintain a great left side of the infield defense.

The obvious caveat here is Guillorme’s bat. He’s never hit for power, and there are many who question if it will ever play at the Major League level. Truth be told, the Mets are going to have to find that out sooner or later, so why not now?

Looking at his minor league numbers, this is a player who has shown an ability to get on base, which could give the Mets some hope he could profile as Luis Castillo – the Marlins version, not the Mets version. With Guillorme working on driving the ball, and showing some positive results for those efforts this Spring, his ability to stick in the lineup becomes less of a doubt.

And if we are being honest, his bat should not be a deterrent; at least not now. Since 2015, Reyes has been a 91 OPS+ hitter, and in each of those seasons Reyes has gotten off to some dreadful starts. Since 2015, Reyes has hit .205/.263/.301 in the Month of April.

With that being the baseline April production, the Mets should really consider starting Guillorme on Opening Day should Rosario not be available. The offensive floor is low, and his defense right now has no ceiling.

7 thoughts on “Guillorme, Not Reyes Should Play SS If Rosario Isn’t Ready for Opening Day”

  1. Gothamist says:

    I agree on your post.

    I like that Callaway is moving infielders around.
    Maybe we can trade a Vet?

    Did see improvements in players.
    suc as Lagares and Tebow ABATS, Guils get solid contact

    From July trades we saw action along with a candidate for lefty pen.

    Harvey left me with msny positives.

    Harv seemed to be working on FB preciseness and challenging with his new normal MPH W wrong Home Plate umpire calls so many ABATS could have turned direction of scores.
    Many pitches off the plate were called strikes for Yankee pitchers (many calls) and Harv’s quest to K Judge in the fifth could have been the first of those to get Harv and the Mets third out before Stanton’s ABAT.

    I hope Harv has other off speed menu offerings to come and the slider at 87-88 I am not an expert to say 88 is enough in itself or and if it sweeps enough where 88 plus sweep is a plus?

    Montero was not intimidated by the prospects he faced but did not seem to have a pitch to put anyone away (like most Met hurlers) and Montero against better competition at best I see too high a pitch count to be a starter and no out oitch not very attractive for the pen.

    I wonder, in general that without an outpitch if the stress level just becomes chronic thru going thru the lineup twice where not having the ability to punch out a hitter just distracts the pitcher in losing ability to punpoint deliveries? Just a guess for I never pitched.

    I wanted to see more of Thompson. I guess that Cecchini was never given a shot this spring. Nimmo is more comfortable and looking to get the pitches he waits for swung with authority out of the infield.

    I would hope the prospects would work their ABATS the first pitch or so swings I see alot with such ferocity.

    Reyes could try vs lefties to swing away, not to wave at them or seek to pull on the outside breaking pitches.

    Rosario looked more competitive with the outside of the plate offerings he got from Robertson.

    Robertson did get generous strike calls at some of thise inflection points.

    Kaz might have a better upside than den Decker.

    Does Evans have to clear waivers again to get assigned to AAA?
    Evans and Guill getting starts at first base in AAA makes sense to me.

    Who would the Mets cut to AAA to give Montero a few last chances north in the spring?

    Is it worth working with Montero in AAA or do we already see his ceiling? or is Montero notivated to work further in AAA?

  2. Five Tool Ownership says:

    I would not take the details seriously.
    The 2019 playoff teams have bullpens and RISP results are rolling now… enough said
    I am trying to have no expectations in 2018 and to look for the positives in 2019 as the Mets try to lock up their pitchers to long term deals for the 2019 season.

    Never say never… but expect little in 2018 is my motto..
    Beat the Braves and Phillies, then we can chat about having any expectations.

  3. Five Tool Ownership says:

    The 2018 playoff teams have bullpens and RISP results are rolling now…

  4. OldBackstop says:

    Reyes is a four time All Star shortstop who slashed .288/.356/.472/.828 in the second half last year.

    He is the only Met with a lick of speed, and finished 5th in the NL in steals. He already has three this spring.

    Whatever sliver of defensive performance the kid might have over him, I’d like to see if Jose can continue his offensive output of the second half, because a presence like that at the top of the order would be enormous.

    If Guil is around I have no trouble giving him a start here and there or some late innings. But Reyes should be given the Opening Day in the absence of Rosario. He is one of the great Mets.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      1. Hate to ruin the narrative, but April through the first half of July count. That’s why he was a horrible .246/.315/.413 hitter.

      That’s no fluke either as his last full season, 2016, Reyes hit .374/.310/.378

      2. Mets no longer lack speed. Cespedes, Nimmo, TdA, Conforto, Rosario, and Frazier have above-average speed for their positions.

      3. It’s not a sliver of defense. It’s the difference between Mickey Mantle and Eric Campbell as hitters. Also, with his OBP, Reyes should never see the top of the order ever again. Not even in Triple-A

      4. Reyes is just a bad player at this point, who if the Wilpons didn’t like him, would have been lucky to get a minor league deal this offseason.

  5. OldBackstop says:

    “”2. Mets no longer lack speed. Cespedes, Nimmo, TdA, Conforto, Rosario, and Frazier have above-average speed for their positions.””

    Do you look before you write? Reyes had about twice the stolen bases of all six of those guys combined in 2017.
    He had a 2.0 oWAR last year, and his negative dWAR was driven by his errors at third base. He’ll be fine at SS.
    Reyes looked like an All Star again last year after the rest of the team got traded away or went on the DL. He had six home runs and 8 SBs in September with a .905 OPS.
    He looked like the batting champion again. There is no way he should sit for a guy who it is doubtful will ever be a major leaguer offensively. This team needs the offense.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      So because Reyes had more stolen bases, that means the other guys are now slow?

      It doesn’t work that way.

      And good for Reyes having a good September bringing up his second half stats. Problem is his play against lesser competition doesn’t mean he’s now a good ball player. In fact, he’s now a bad one.

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