Things are just rotten at Citi Field this season.
The New York Mets, once again hobbled by injuries, have watched their 2017 campaign that was supposed to hold so much promise all but go up in smoke within the first two months.
A spark is needed and with the Washington Nationals continuing to set a quick pace in the NL East, the Mets can’t afford to wait around for the injured likes of Steven Matz and Yoenis Cespedes to return.
It looks as though there is that spark looming in the minors, but there seems to be a reluctance to bring him up.
Shortstop Amed Rosario, ranked the third-best prospect by Major League Baseball, has been ripping it up in triple-A Las Vegas so far this season.
In 232 at-bats, the 21-year-old is batting .345 with five home runs and 40 RBI. His glove has been even better with a .952 fielding percentage while playing shortstop and third base.
“One evaluator,” told MetsBlog’s Adam Rubin that Rosario’s defense was MLB ready but his bat wasn’t because he needs to exhibit more patience at the plate. The numbers suggest that he is correct as his .385 on-base percentage should be higher with an average like his. He’s drawn just 15 walks compared to 42 strikeouts.
However, the Mets are basically grasping at straws when it comes to kick-starting the big club. The offense has been wildly inconsistent, scoring just one run respectively in three of the last five games entering Tuesday night.
Rosario’s high-average prospects and ability to hit to all fields could help turn things around in Queens even if his patience at the plate is a work in progress.
The Mets could have been holding Rosario back due to financial reasons, though the Super 2 cutoff date had not been reached.
For those that don’t know what the Super 2 cutoff is, it is a designation allowing players to become eligible for salary arbitration before they reach three years of MLB service time. Had the Mets called up Rosario before the cutoff date, they would have been forced to go through arbitration four times before he became a free agent.
While the date always varies and remains unknown at the moment, the cutoff usually trends around the 65th service day of the year. As of Tuesday, the MLB season is on its 66th service day.
So the excuses for keeping one of baseball’s best prospects in the minors are continuing to run out. If the Mets want to show their fan base that they are committed to competing in 2017, they’ll make the call for Rosario sooner rather than later.