For weeks, as fans called time and again for Amed Rosario's debut, Mets officials patiently waited for the non-waiver Trade Deadline to pass. Only once that happened, the Mets knew, would they have a better sense of their late-season roster.Only once that happened would they feel comfortable promoting Rosario.Though the
For weeks, as fans called time and again for Amed Rosario's debut, Mets officials patiently waited for the non-waiver Trade Deadline to pass. Only once that happened, the Mets knew, would they have a better sense of their late-season roster.
Only once that happened would they feel comfortable promoting Rosario.
Though the Mets did not ultimately trade Asdrubal Cabrera or any other infielder prior to the Monday's 4 p.m. ET Deadline, they created enough roster versatility to prepare for this day. The Mets' top-ranked prospect, and second-rated in all of baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, Rosario will debut tonight in Denver, batting seventh and playing short.
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"Bringing him up at the first part of August has basically been our plan for six weeks or so," general manager Sandy Alderson said, "assuming that he continued to play well."
Rosario has done that and more, batting .328 with seven home runs, seven triples, 19 doubles and 19 stolen bases in 94 games at Triple-A Las Vegas. The Mets' most highly touted position player prospect since David Wright, Rosario will start most days at shortstop, where scouts rate him a potential Gold Glove Award-caliber defender. But the team will give Rosario ample days off as well, knowing he has never before experienced the rigors of a six-month regular season.
The Mets' No. 2-ranked prospect, first baseman Dominic Smith, will stay at Las Vegas for now. But Alderson indicated that Smith should arrive at some point in August.
"I think it's important for guys like Rosario and Smith to get more than just playing time in September," Alderson said. "I think to really make it meaningful, it needs to be a little bit longer than that."
With Rosario playing most days at shortstop, the Mets will work to find playing time for their other infield veterans. Wilmer Flores and Neil Walker will both log reps at first base, at least until Smith arrives. Walker and Jose Reyes will divvy up time at second. Reyes will also fill in for Rosario at shortstop on occasion and potentially play some third. Cabrera will stick as the club's regular third baseman.
"The flexibility that our existing infielders possess allows us to move some pieces around to give Amed an opportunity to play shortstop," Alderson said. "It was a combination of just getting through the hullabaloo of the Trade Deadline, and then at the same time allowing some of our other players to get more familiar with some of the other positions. Plus, he's continued to play really well."
As much as anyone, Reyes stands to lose significant playing time from Rosario's promotion, a fact that does not overly bother him. The 34-year-old veteran has long maintained that he will not grouse about the situation, tweeting Monday: "Congratulations to my little brother @Amed_Rosario welcome to the Big Show... THE FUTURE IS NOW #LGM."
A fellow Dominican, Rosario considers Reyes his mentor. The two spent significant time together in Spring Training and in Double-A after Reyes signed with the Mets last season.
And Reyes, like so many around Flushing, considers Rosario the future.
"He's got great poise, plays with energy, tremendous hands, he's got arm strength," Mets manager Terry Collins said recently of Rosario. "He's got big power. He's got a chance to be really, really good."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.