The New York Mets just lost their starting second baseman after Robinson Cano’s second performance-enhancing drug violation. He will miss the 162 games of the 2021 season, and the Mets need to appoint a new starter in the keystone.
That could imply lots of possible scenarios. The team could opt to move Jeff McNeil there permanently, leaving third base for J.D. Davis or Andres Gimenez and left field for Dom Smith. They can also try Gimenez or Amed Rosario at second, taking advantage of their infield depth. Or, you know, they could also sign DJ LeMahieu and stick him at second.
So far, there are no indications to which path the New York Mets will take. But regardless of what they do at second base, they could opt to make Rosario change positions ahead of the 2021 campaign.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, it’s “likely in the cards” that Rosario will be playing different positions in 2021. That could represent a super-utility role for the Dominican, although a move to second (or even center field, shifting Brandon Nimmo to left and Smith to a DH role, should there be one) is not out of the question.
The Mets like Gimenez’s defense
The Mets want to capitalize on Gimenez’s defensive prowess. In the 2020 campaign, he proved that he is a superior option to Rosario at the position, but to be fair, the latter made some strides there.
Over 322 1/3 innings at shortstop last season, Rosario had a +2 Outs Above Average and a +3.5 UZR/150. However, DRS was less kind, at -3. Gimenez, meanwhile, had +5 Outs Above Average, a 0.4 UZR, a 2.6 UZR/150 and 1 DRS at shortstop.
Of course, if the Mets go ahead and acquire Francisco Lindor, all the exercise would me moot, as he would take over at SS, no questions asked, forcing both Gimenez and Rosario out of the position, provided that they are not traded away in the package.
Rosario batted .252/.272/.371 with four homers, 15 RBI and a 34/4 K/BB ratio in 147 plate appearances during the 2020 shortened campaign.