Prior to Thurdsay’s game with the Nationals, Sandy Alderson indicated he believes the Mets roster is talented, and he’s content to leave his top prospects in the minors. Another way of saying this is with Asdrubal Cabrera landing on the Disabled List with a thumb injury, he’d rather go with Jose Reyes as the Mets shortstop over Amed Rosario.
With Neil Walker going on the Disabled List for an extended period, the Mets had their excuse. But no, they’d rather go with an infield that has Reyes at SS.
Considering when Cabrera was injured, Reyes was hitting .188/.261/.293 and Reyes’ -1.2 WAR ranking him as the worst infielder in all of baseball, Sandy’s decision making here should be called into question.
In situations such as these, there’s only one thing you can do – Start a game log comparing Reyes and Rosario to see if Sandy was wrong, or if Sandy was right:
Cubs 14 – Mets 3
Reyes 1-4, 2 K
51s 13 – River Cats 2
Rosario 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, SB, GIDP
Mets 9 – Cubs 4
Reyes 0-2, R, 2 BB, SB, K
River Cats 5 – 51s 4
Rosario 0-4, 2 GIDP
Nationals 8 – Mets 3
Reyes 0-3, K
51s 12 – River Cats 4
Rosario 2-4, 2B, BB, 2 RBI
Reyes 1-9, 2 BB, SB, 4 K
Rosario 4-13, 2 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, SB, 3 GIDP
Through the first four innings, this was a game. The Nationals got to Robert Gsellman, but the damage wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
He made two mistakes. The first Bryce Harper hit for a long first inning home run. The second was a Matt Wieters fourth inning double. He came home to score on a Gio Gonzalez single. That’s problematic because Gonzalez is terrific at Citi Field.
He was again tonight. The Mets had just one hit through the first three innings, and he looked like he was going to make that 2-0 lead stick.
Still it was only 2-0 because in the third inning, Juan Lagares nailed Harper at the plate:
Bryce Harper should not have tested Juan Lagares pic.twitter.com/S4dPCvE8Gl
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 16, 2017
In the fourth, Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce hit back-to-back one out doubles to bring the Mets within 2-1. Considering how terrible the Nationals bullpen has been, that isn’t a bad position for the Mets. If they kept it close, you had to like their chances.
The Mets didn’t keep it close as the Nationals went to work in the fifth inning.
Daniel Murphy continued to torture the Mets hitting a two run triple with a ball Lucas Duda couldn’t knock down and Jay Bruce couldn’t pick up. Murphy then scored on an Anthony Rendon single that tipped Lagares glove as he dove for it. The Nationals capped off the inning with a Michael Taylor homer.
At that point, it was 7-1 Nationals. The only thing left was to add some injury to insult.
Because this is the Mets that happened. On Lagares’ dive, he broke his left thumb, the same one he injured last year.
Juan Lagares left tonight's game with a fracture of the IP joint in his left thumb.
— New York Mets (@Mets) June 16, 2017
It really just kept getting better and better. With Gary, Keith, and Ron discussing Amed Rosario, Wilmer Flores made an error. With all the injuries the Mets have had, there was a Hospital for Special Surgery advertisement behind home plate. I
After that, there was insult to injury. Rafael Montero came on in the sixth, and he dominated the Nationals. He had three straight 1-2-3 innings, and he struck out three batters.
But no, the Mets lost to the Nationals, and they lost badly. With Lagares getting hurt and Neil Walker and Matt Harvey landing on the DL, it’s once again hard to see how things are going to get better.
Game Notes: Rene Rivera hit an opposite field homer in the fifth. Gavin Cecchini struck out in his pinch hitting attempt. Matt Reynolds was scratched from the Vegas lineup meaning he’s likely ticketed for the Mets.
Once Neil Walker pulled up lame when he tried to bunt for a single, every Mets fan had two thoughts:
- [Expletive Deleted]
- Will this lead to the Mets calling up Amed Rosario?
Apparently, the answer is no. After Walker’s injury, we were all waiting to see if Rosario would be removed from the Las Vegas 51s lineup. He wasn’t. Rather, it was Gavin Cecchini. Suffice it to say, this is not the guy Mets fans wanted to see.
That goes double when you consider how much he is slumping this year. In 62 games in Triple-A, Cecchini is only hitting .249/.313/.349 with 14 doubles, a triple, three homers, 17 RBI, and three stolen bases. In a league where everybody is hitting, Cecchini isn’t, and he has a 74 wRC+.
This is not the same Cecchini who had a breakout season last year. In 117 games for Las Vegas last year, Cecchini hit .325/.390/.448 with 27 doubles, two triples, eight homers, 55 RBI, and four stolen bases. His terrific play last year earned him a September call-up. In this limited time he played down the stretch, Cecchini did not looked over-matched. In his seven plate appearances, he hit two doubles with two RBI with a hit by pitch.
The stark difference between 2016 and 2017 leads you searching for answers. The answer is likely a mix between Cecchini has been less selective at the plate, and he’s hitting into some hard luck.
Cecchini has seen his walk rate drop from 9.6% to 8.0%, and his strike out rate jump from 11.0% to 13.5%. While, this is a relatively small move, we do see some implications across the board. Cecchini’s isolated power has dropped from .125 in 2015 and .123 in 2016 to .100 this year. His BABIP has gone from .348 in 2015 and .357 in 2016 to just .282 this year.
Going a little deeper, Cecchini is hitting more fly balls than last year and fewer ground balls and line drives. For a player who is a gap-to-gap doubles hitter, this is death. At this point in his career, Cecchini just doesn’t have the type of power to make his living as a fly ball hitter.
It is possible Cecchini’s struggles has to do with his position change. With his defensive struggles last year and with Rosario starting the year in Las Vegas, Cecchini has transitioned to second base. At the same time, he is working on becoming more versatile in the field. He has played six games at shortstop this year, and he has reportedly been working at third base.
Fortunately, the switch to second base has gone extraordinarily well for Cecchini. He has really put his time in there, and he has become a good defensive second baseman. Of course, the time he has spent there may have detracted from the work he has typically done at the plate. If that isn’t the answer, it could just be the mental drain from shifting positions. Long story short, there’s no simple explanation.
Whatever it is, Cecchini has an opportunity here. He is likely getting called up soon where he will at least have a chance to compete with T.J. Rivera for the starting second base job. He will also have the opportunity to work with Kevin Long to help him return to the hitter he was the past two years. He also has a chance to show the Mets he is the second baseman of the future.
Like it or not, Cecchini is the guy getting called up now. There is every chance this is the right move for both him and the Mets. The Mets calling him up is certainly a defensible choice. Still, Rosario should have been on the plane from Vegas with him.
This game was probably over as soon as Anthony Rizzo lead off the game with a homer. If it wasn’t then, it was over in the second inning. Zack Wheeler just didn’t have it, and he got knocked out in the second inning. His final line was 1.2 innings, six hits, eight runs, eight earned, three walks, and three strikeouts.
It was irresponsible for Terry Collins to leave Wheeler in as long as he did. After missing two years due to Tommy John surgery, he let Wheeler throw 46 pitches in the fourth inning.
Look at it this way, Wheeler loaded the bases, walked in a run, and then allowed a grand slam to Ian Happ to make it 6-1. Collins left him in to put on two more runners who scored on an Addison Russell bases clearing double making it 8-1.
Then Collins went to Josh Smoker, and he abused his arm. Smoker threw 81 pitches over four innings. That’s 40 pitches more than his career high.
Sure you don’t want to burn your bullpen in these games, but you don’t risk a player’s health. Smoker is a guy who can get it up to 98 MPH. By the time he was pulled, he was struggling to hit 89 MPH. This gets pitchers hurt, and it’s inexcusable. Yes, it’s even inexcusable when a pitcher has a 7.45 ERA. You don’t mess with careers for one game.
By the way, it was unnecessary. The bullpen is rested with the last four Mets starters pitching into the seventh, and Jacob deGrom throwing a complete game yesterday.
At least Collins wasn’t irresponsible with everyone. Yoenis Cespedes was lifted after the fifth because the Mets were losing 8-1.
Mets just announced that "Yoenis Cespedes was removed because of the game situation." pic.twitter.com/g8DftdkLBr
— Joe Maracic (@GrafixJoker) June 14, 2017
It was that type of night. Gary, Keith, and Ron broke out the baseball cards. Keith was sighing loudly into the mic. Darling was taking pot shots at sabermetrians. Both Smoker and Neil Ramirez pitched.
But you know what? The Mets deserved this loss. Joe Maddon tried to wake up his team and get them going by mixing up the lineup. That included hitting Rizzo lead-off.
On the Mets part, Jose Reyes played in his fifth straight game. And guess what, he’s going to play in at least nine more because Asdrubal Cabrera went on the DL with a thumb injury. Yes, it is the same thing that landed him in the DL earlier this year.
Rather than the Mets using as an opportunity to call up Amed Rosario, the Mets said, “We’re good with Reyes hitting under the Mendoza Line and playing bad defense.”
Organizations like that deserve to lose 14-3.
To make matters worse, the Nationals pen didn’t blow another one, so the Mets fell to 9.5 games out.
Game Notes: Michael Conforto missed a second straight game with a back issue. With the left-handed Jon Lester on the mound, Juan Lagares got the start in center and lead-off. He went 1-4 scoring a run on a Cespedes first inning double. Neil Walker and Lucas Duda hit back-to-back homers in the ninth.
The difference between the Mets and Braves last night was Dansby Swanson.
Swanson made a number of great plays in the field. In the third, he made an incredible diving catch on a Michael Conforto sinking liner to start an inning ending double play. In the eighth, Swanson went deep into the hole to field what should’ve been a sure Wilmer Flores single turning it into an out.
Swanson killed the Mets at the plate too. His two out two RBI double in the sixth gave the Braves a 2-1 lead. In the ninth, Swanson took advantage of Curtis Granderson playing no doubles defense and Granderson having a poor arm. Swanson busted it right out of the box for a hustle double.
Rio Ruiz followed with an RBI single. It was quite the juxtaposition seeing Swanson race past Asdrubal Cabrera on his way to scoring the game winning run. Swanson might’ve been able to field or knock that ball down. Cabrera had no hope.
With Swanson, the Braves not only beat the Mets last night, but they’re also ahead of the Mets in the standings.
Now, it hasn’t been a smooth road for Swanson. After playing well in his call-up last year, Swanson struggled to start the year. In April, Swanson looked completely overmatched hitting just .156/.200/.233 with a double, two homers, and five RBI.
Since, he’s hitting .250/.353/.402 with seven doubles, four homers, and 21 RBI. Over the last week, he’s hitting .350/.409/.500 with two doubles, a homer, and five RBI.
Needless to say, he no longer looks overmatched. Better yet, he looks like a game changer out there, and the Braves are being rewarded for sticking with him.
This is a stark reminder the Mets have Amed Rosario, who is every bit as capable of having the game Swanson had last night. In fact, Rosario is the only man on the Mets 40 man roster capable of replicating the things Swanson did to beat the Mets.
Sadly, this won’t motivate the Mets to do the right thing. They’ll make excuses. Many will point to the Super Two cutoff that has likely already passed. For those pointing out Rosario needs more at-bats in Triple-A, Swanson never played a game at that level. The arguments the Mets don’t want him to struggle ring hollow when you consider the season is close to being over . . . if it isn’t already.
Last night, the difference between the Braves and the Mets was the Braves dynamic young shortstop being in the lineup, and the Mets dynamic young shortstop playing in Triple-A. Seeing how this was the difference, it makes you question how much longer the Mets can wait on Rosario.
The Mets have a number of excuses why they are in the position they are. Those excuses mostly surround the pitching. Noah Syndergaard went down in April with a torn lat. Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom haven’t been the same since returning from their season ending surgeries. There has been a revolving door at the fifth starter spot that has seen the likes of Rafael Montero, Adam Wilk, Tommy Milone, and Tyler Pill. This has put stress on the bullpen, and the bullpen broke.
They broke because Jeurys Familia went down for the season. Hansel Robles couldn’t keep up with the workload and fell apart. Josh Smoker hasn’t been able to figure it out this year. Addison Reed is a much better set-up man than a closer.
Through all of this, despite playing a weak schedule, the Mets are seven games under .500. The Mets are THIS CLOSE to being sellers.
However, there is hope. Seth Lugo and Steven Matz are coming off the Disabled List. Last year, Lugo was 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.149 WHIP. He followed that breakout performance with a breakout performance in the World Baseball Classic.
Matz is even better than Lugo. Before succumbing to the bone spur in his elbow last year, Matz had a stretch from April 17th to June 18th where he was 7-2 with a 1.91 ERA and a 1.047 WHIP. That was after his rookie season where he was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA and a 1.234 WHIP.
That combination of Lugo and Matz vastly improves the Mets rotation. It also bumps a good pitcher like Robert Gsellman into the bullpen. Lately, Gsellman has figured it out. In his last four appearances, he’s 2-0 with hold posting a 2.66 ERA and a 1.082 WHIP. This will give the bullpen a fresh arm. More than that, it means one of Smoker or Neil Ramirez is going to be gone from the bullpen.
Finally, the Mets will have the pitching to help an offense that has tried to carry this team. In May, the Mets averaged the second most runs per game (5.7) in the National League. Things promise to get better with Yoenis Cespedes having played in his first rull rehab game for St. Lucie last night.
With that, the Mets will have as complete a team as they can expect for the reason for the season. Now, they just have to take advantage of their opportunities. That starts with the four game series with a Braves team who is a half game up on the Mets for second place in the National League East. Sweep them, and the Mets will find themselves just three games under .500.
After that, the Mets have a seven game home stand. First, there are the Chicago Cubs, who are not the same team they were last year. After that, the Mets have a four game set with the Washington Nationals.
If the Mets take care of business against the Braves and Cubs, that could be a HUGE series for this Mets team. Sweep the Nationals at home, and all of a sudden the Mets could be just eight games back in the division or better. That’s still a large deficit to overcome, but it’s not as daunting as the 12 games they are now.
The Mets don’t take advantage of this opportunity? It’s time to sell. At that point, the team should look to move everyone to pave the way for Amed Rosario, who frankly should be here now, and Dominic Smith to become the David Wright and Jose Reyes of this generation.
If the Mets don’t want to do that, it’s time to take care of business. That starts tonight with a huge start for Matt Harvey. This used to be the exact moment you wanted him on the mound. It is time for that to happen again.
It was a Sunday game, and no offense to him, but the Mets were starting Tyler Pill. With Addison Reed likely unavailable with his pitching two innings last night, you’d be hard pressed to argue the pitching would sufficiently line up to give the Mets a chance.
Hopefully, you didn’t try to argue the Mets could win this one because they lost a non-competitive 11-1 game. The Mets were probably luck it was that close especially considering both Josh Smoker and Neil Ramirez brought there 7.00+ ERAs to the mound today.
About the only player who showed up ready to play was the scorching hot Wilmer Flores, who stayed hot going 2-4. Other than that, you’re really stretching to find another positive.
This season is falling apart fast. In fact, it may have already. Only one team since the 1930s entered June .500 and won the World Series (2003 Marlins). With the Mets not willing to fire their manager and without a Miguel Cabrera to call-up, it’s hard to argue the Mets can repeat that feat.
It’s next to impossible when you consider the Mets do have uber prospect Amed Rosario, and they still won’t call him up. If we’re being honest, if the Mets do eventually call him up, it’ll probably be too late to salvage this season.
Game Notes: The Mets scored their only run of the game in the second inning when a run scored on a Travis d’Arnaud GIDP.
Let’s be honest. With nearly two months gone in the season, there is not a lot of reason to believe in the 2017 Mets. The team is five games under .500 and just 14-16 against their own division. Important players like Yoenis Cespedes, Jeurys Familia, Steven Matz, Noah Syndergaard and David Wright have had extended stints on the disabled list. Presumably, Familia, Syndergaard, and Wright are done for the season. The team features two everyday players who are fighting to get and stay atop the Mendoza Line, and the entire pitching staff has underperformed. And despite all of these problems, and many more which have not been mentioned, there are very real reasons to be optimistic about the Mets as we head into the summer months:
1. The Starting Pitching Is Improving
In case, you haven’t noticed the Mets are no longer have the worst ERA in all of baseball. A huge reason for that is the starting pitching is not only improving, but they are also pitching deeper into games. That has started with the re-emergence of Jacob deGrom. Before last night’s debacle, in his last two starts, deGrom pitched 15.1 innings allowing just one earned run. He threw down the gauntlet, and the other starting pitchers have responded.
The Mets are now starting to put together quality starts with some regularity. Matt Harvey and Robert Gsellman are coming off their best starts in over a month. Zack Wheeler continues to pregress well in his first season in over two years. Matz and Seth Lugo will soon join the rotation. As we have seen time and again, this team goes as its pitching goes, and the pitching is trending in the right direction.
2. The Bullpen Is Settling Down
With the starters failing to go deep into games and Familia essentially being a non-factor this season, the bullpen has struggled. The struggles stem from both overwork and trying to slot guys into different roles than had previously been anticipated. With the starters going deeper, the bullpen is starting to get some rest, and the bullpen is starting to look better.
Another factor is the emergence of Paul Sewald. A player the Mets were willing to risk losing in the Rule 5 Draft has now become the Mets most important reliever. He has been used for multiple innings and to nail down the eighth inning. He has shown his success in Vegas was no fluke pitching to a 2.21 ERA in 20.1 innings. His emergence has allowed Terry Collins to ease up on some of his other relievers.Salas has responded by lowering his ERA by almost two runs in the month of May, has not blown one lead, and he has not allowed an earned run in 11 of his last 14 appearances. A rejuvenated Salas is good for the Mets.
Another key factor is the composition of the bullpen. Rafael Montero is gone. Neil Ramirez is on his way out as well. He should be gone once Hansel Robles figures things out in Vegas and/or Gsellman is moved to the bullpen with the return of Matz and Lugo from the disabled list. Certainly, the composition of arms is going to be much better down there, and with the starters going deeper, they will be better rested.
3. Help Is On The Way
As noted, Matz and Lugo will soon rejoin the rotation. Behind them, we may also see Robles return to the majors prompting the Mets to send down one of the more ineffective arms in Ramirez and/or Josh Smoker. But it’s not just on the pitching side that the Mets will improve, it’s also on the offensive side.
According to various reports, Cespedes is about 7-1o days away. When he returns, the Mets will be adding an MVP caliber player to play alongside Michael Conforto in the outfield, who is having an MVP caliber season himself. Cespedes not only lengthens the lineup, but he also adds a right-handed power threat which the lineup is sorely lacking right now. While the offense isn’t the issue so far, a team that is fighting to not only get back to .500, but also to get back to the postseason needs to upgrade everywhere it can.
It’s more than Cespedes. At some point, the moving target that is the Super Two deadline is going to comfortably pass clearing yet another hurdle for the Mets to call-up Amed Rosario. If Rosario does get called-up, it would significantly improve the Mets infield defense, and it could also improve the lineup. Through his first 50 games, Rosario is hitting .354/.393/.519 with 13 doubles, three triples, five homers, and 37 RBI.
With all that, there is legitimate reason for hope the Mets will be a better team over the final four months of the season. That team could catch the Nationals in the standings especially when you consider the two teams have 13 games against one another remaining. That is enough games to make-up the 9.5 game gap between the teams in the standings. That goes double when you consider the Nationals have bullpen issues of their own, and they are just 15-12 since losing Adam Eaton for the season.
If the Mets play as well as they can play, this is going to be an exciting summer at Citi Field. If the Mets play the way they are capable, this will soon become a pennant race.
It doesn’t matter what position you are voting. If you are looking to elect a president, dog catcher, or an outfielder to the All Star Game, when you are solely relying upon write-in votes, you have a steep uphill climb to accomplish your goal. With the first round of voting results being published by MLB, we see Michael Conforto is going to fall far short of being elected one of the All Star Game starters:
Even if Conforto was one vote behind Carlos Gonzalez, that still puts him 226,223 votes behind Jason Heyward for the third spot in the National League All Star outfield. Even if Conforto were to get a head of steam in the voting, it is unlikely he gets elected because Cubs fans coming off their first World Series in their lifetimes have been stuffing the ballot box. Right now, the lowest any Cubs player is in All Star Game voting is fifth. That honor goes to Kyle Schwarber who is hitting .173/.294/.339 on the season. Right above him is World Series MVP Ben Zobrist. Long story short, a Cubs outfielder will likely start the All Star Game.
They will start the All Star Game despite Conforto being far superior to the three Cubs outfielders. Arguably, Conforto is the second best outfielder in the National League behind just Bryce Harper. Still, he has no shot to start the All Star Game, absent Joe Maddon making him the DH, because he was not put on the All Star Game ballot when it was first released. In fact, Conforto’s name is still not on the ballot. Why?
Back in the days when ballots were printed and put in ballparks, this was understandable. There’s a finite amount of room on a paper ballot, and you are not going to undergo the cost of revising ballots after they have already been printed and put in 30 MLB ballparks. However, MLB no longer prints paper ballots. It’s all digital meaning the same constraints you have with paper ballots are presumably not present.
Even if there are some unforeseen issues with updating the ballots mid-vote, there is a legitimate question over why Conforto’s name was not on the ballot the minute it was released. Conforto made the Opening Day roster. As such, his playing in the first half of the season was not in as much doubt as say an Amed Rosario who began the season in Las Vegas. Given how players get injured, why couldn’t MLB put every player who made the Opening Day roster on the ballot?
If Conforto was on there from day one, he might have had a chance to overtake one of the Cubs outfielders to start in the All Star Game. The fans could have rewarded him for his terrific start to the season by voting for him. However, his name wasn’t there, and for many voters he was out of sight out of mind when the ballots were cast. It is something that could have been rectified by having all palyers who made the Opening Day roster on the ballot.
There’s really no downside to this unless MLB is overly concerned with players like Chase d’Arnaud being elected starters. Of course, this exact scenario happened to the NHL with John Scott. Of course, the end result of that was increased attention to the sport, increased rating for the All Star Game, and a feel good story. If MLB still has this concern, maybe they should take the vote away from the fans.
It wouldn’t be a huge stretch from where they are now when MLB doesn’t even list players like Conforto on the ballot.
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.