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Giménez, Rosario forming shortstop platoon

@alysonfooter
September 12, 2020

The Mets’ shortstop situation became a little clearer on Saturday, as more information was revealed that may indicate what the team’s plan is moving forward.

The Mets’ shortstop situation became a little clearer on Saturday, as more information was revealed that may indicate what the team’s plan is moving forward.

In the past several weeks, incumbent shortstop Amed Rosario and rookie Andrés Giménez were splitting time at the position, with Giménez getting increased playing time as the calendar flipped to September.

On Saturday, Rosario confirmed that manager Luis Rojas told him recently that Giménez will receive the bulk of the playing time when the Mets are scheduled to face right-handers.

“I haven't had very in-depth conversations with anyone, aside from Rojas,” Rosario said through a team interpreter prior to the Mets’ game with the Blue Jays at Sahlen Field. “I was told that Giménez would get a big majority of the right-handed pitchers, but other than that, there hasn't been any of these rules [relayed] about who’s to start and who's not.”

Rojas confirmed the conversation did take place prior to the start of the Mets’ four-game set with the Phillies on Sept. 4. With four righties slated to start for Philadelphia, Rojas told Rosario “there’s a possibility” Giménez would start every game of that series, which is precisely how it played out.

But Rojas cautioned that these assignments are not necessarily permanent.

“Every day, we want the best lineup,” he said. “Regardless if it's right or left, I always have the conversation with them, just to keep them ready. It may be that we're facing a lefty tomorrow and Giménez is there. It may be that we have a righty and that Rosario is there. I give them the possibilities and I try to keep them ready.”

Still, there has clearly been a pattern lately, and the pendulum is swinging toward Giménez.

The rookie has thrived with more playing time. He has received 32 at-bats in September, compared to 11 for Rosario. Giménez is batting .344 this month and he entered play Saturday on a seven-game hitting streak, while batting .370 with seven runs scored, two doubles, one homer and six RBIs during that stretch.

Rosario’s breakout season in 2019, which included an especially strong second half, cemented his status as the everyday shortstop heading into this year. But so far, he’s struggling offensively. He batted .197 (14-for-71) in August, and he entered Saturday with a .230 average overall, with three homers and 13 RBIs.

“I think, compared to last year, it was more of me being able to take off and get into a rhythm that I was able to keep consistent throughout the entire end of last season,” Rosario said. “I think, this year, it's been a little bit different. Some decisions that have been made are out of my control, and I have to take that in stride.”

Rojas lauded Rosario’s continued hard work and preparedness, even during times of inactiveness once the games start.

“He's improving, he's working,” Rojas said. “When you work, and there's definitely a sense of direction of what you're working on, you're going to improve in some things. That's what Rosie is doing right now.”

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.