One of the big questions on the minds of New York Mets’ fans is when the team will recall top prospect Amed Rosario to make his big league debut. Rosario has played well for Triple-A Las Vegas this season, batting .315 with seven homers and 49 RBI’s in 78 games for the 51’s this season, but the Mets have refused to promote him to the big leagues at this point. Incumbent Jose Reyes has struggled all season, batting just .202 with a .615 OPS in 76 games, leading a lot of people to question why the Mets wouldn’t give Rosario a shot. Mets’ General Manager Sandy Alderson was asked that very question yesterday and provided a bit more insight into the situation.
Alderson noted that the situation the Mets have at the big league level does impact the need for Rosario, Joe Giglio of NJ Advance Media reports. The Mets have a complicated middle infield dynamic with Cabrera having shifted to second for Reyes to play shortstop every day, and that situation should get more complex if Neil Walker is able to return after the All Star Break. Walker had been the second baseman prior to his injury, but he has expressed willingness to play third base in the past and could be shifted there if the Mets want to leave Cabrera at second. Alderson provided further context about Rosario’s situation that was a bit puzzling to understand, which can be seen below:
“If we’re playing well, there’s no real urgency to bring him up,” Alderson said. “If we’re playing poorly, I’d hesitate to bring him up because he’d be looked at as our potential savior. So it’s kind of a double whammy at the moment. On the other hand, if we get another two months into the season and things haven’t gone as well as we’ve hoped, maybe the future is now.”
Reading through Alderson’s statement, this doesn’t make a ton of sense. Alderson is right to believe that bringing Rosario up when the team is struggling could put undue pressure on him with fans believing that he could save the season. The first part of Alderson’s hypothetical about how there’s no urgency to bring Rosario up if the Mets are playing well is mind boggling. The Mets have played well for fits and starts this season, but a big part of the problem has been infield defense, particularly at shortstop. Switching Cabrera and Reyes has made the situation slightly better, but Reyes is still hitting only .202 and is a far inferior defender to Rosario. Having Rosario up here to gobble up more ground balls would only benefit the pitching staff, and the odds are that he would likely fare better at the plate than Reyes is right now. Rosario did scuffle a bit in June, battling a 4 for 32 slump at one point, but once he gets back on track the Mets should bring him up immediately.
In Alderson’s current perspective the Mets won’t bring Rosario to the big leagues until they wave the white flag on 2017, which is a mistake. The National League playoff field has come back towards the Mets a little bit, and in order to take advantage of that they should be fielding their best possible team to make a run. Running Reyes out there every day while a superior defender remains in the minor leagues is counterproductive to that aim, but this is nothing new from the organization that willingly plays without a full complement of players all the time in order to avoid using the disabled list. Amed Rosario will get to Queens eventually, but unless the Mets go back in the tank don’t expect to see him anytime soon.