New York Mets Player Evaluations: Shortstop Amed Rosario

Amed Rosario, New York Mets

The New York Mets had high expectations for Amed Rosario after his breakout second half in 2019. Rosario’s lack of plate discipline struggles at the plate, and Andres Gimenez‘s emergence shrank his playing time in a disappointing 2020 season.

Rosario will never be a high walk rate player, but getting his OBP almost 50 points above his batting average was a huge step. After Rosario started 5-for-16 in the first four games of the season, everything went downhill from there. In the next 13 games, Rosario went 8-for-50 (.160) and failed to record a walk until August 31.

Loss of Playing Time

During this period of Rosario’s struggles, the shortstop position became a platoon role with Gimenez. One of Rosario’s struggles was his timing at the plate, causing him to stray away from his full-field approach from 2019. Rosario had his highest pull percentage and lowest up the middle batted ball percentage of his career.

His BABIP on pitches on the inner third of the plate was significantly lower than it was during 2019. A lot of Rosario’s success came from his ability to take those inner third pitches and shoot them back up the middle. Rosario also has not learned how to steal bases, wasting his speed. Gimenez was able to showcase his stealing ability throughout the season, which earned him extra playing time.

Rosario still provided quality defense but Gimenez playing at a gold glove level, outshined him. In the small sample size, Rosario had a solid year, and it was the one area where he did not regress during 2020.

Rosario woke with the bat during the last 29 games (21 starts). The slash line was more recognizable at .299/.333/.442 with an incredible .370 BABIP. The increased BABIP and SLG show that Rosario was making cleaner and strong contact during this stretch. Rosario started this stretch with a .197 average to a high point of .266 to finish the season at .252.

The 2021 Plan

The slow start to the season was heightened with the shortened season and Gimenez looming in the background. Rosario and Gimenez will likely battle each other for the everyday job at short during Spring Training. The battle may not end in March since each player bats from opposite sides, and Gimenez plays multiple positions, both could still get plenty of playing time throughout the season.

The biggest thing Rosario should work on is becoming a capable base stealer. His sprint speed is one of the best in baseball but only has 50 stolen bases in 75 attempts in his four years in the big leagues. Rosario does not need to steal 50+ bases, but there is no reason why he cannot steal 20-25 bases in a season. That ability is the biggest difference between the two young Mets shortstops.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 45 (55), We have seen flashes of brilliance over the last two seasons but can Rosario do it for a full season?

Power: 45 (50), Rosario’s biggest leap will be breaking 20-30, HR-2B threshold.

Run: 75 (70), Rosario has lost a step each year but is still as fast as anyone. Hopefully, the stolen bases come with it.

Field: 55 (50), Slightly above average and surprisingly better going to his right than his left.

Overall: 45 (55), 2021 really seems like a make or break year for Rosario. Having Gimenez right behind him should light a competitive fire under him.

New York Mets: Nats Sweep Doubleheader to End Mets Playoff Hopes

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets needed an amazing start from Jacob deGrom to keep their postseason hopes alive, but he was only average on Saturday. In game one of the doubleheader, the Washington Nationals won 4-3 and took game two 5-3 against the struggling Rick Porcello. It became the fourth consecutive season that the Mets missed the playoffs.

Jacob deGrom came out firing bullets in the first inning. He hit 102 mph with his fastball, the fastest pitch of his career, and tying the fastest pitch of the season. deGrom ran into trouble from the third inning on, as he lost command, allowing a run in each of the final three innings he pitched. While striking out 10, his ERA went up to 2.38 and knocked out his chances of winning the Cy Young.

The Mets offense got to Max Scherzer early with a two-run home run from Wilson Ramos and a solo homer from Amed Rosario. Unfortunately, the Mets offense went dead late in the game as they left the lead run at third with one out in the sixth inning. Back-to-back strikeouts killed the rally and were followed by the Nationals taking the lead in the bottom half of the inning.

The Mets also lost Andres Gimenez to an oblique injury, which caused Rosario to enter the game. Dominic Smith also suffered a crushing blow, running face-first into the left-field fence. It allowed Andrew Stevenson to round the bases for an inside the park home run for his second homer of the game.

Porcello Struggles Again in Game Two

Rick Porcello towed the rubber for a meaningless game two of the doubleheader. He could not replicate the success from his last start allowing five runs over three innings. All the Nationals runs came in the third inning, as ten men went to the plate.

After the game, Porcello was disappointed in his poor season. He likely will not remain with the Mets for next season, and it is hard to see him landing with another contender in 2021. Porcello was not the only disappointed Mets starter as deGrom also voiced his frustrations with the underachieving Mets.

The Mets offense struggled outside of Pete Alonso. He hit a line-drive home run, which added to a good rebound day at the plate. Alonso showed better discipline at the plate and emphasized hitting the ball hard instead of just hitting it in the air.

Seth Lugo gets the final start of the season as he faces off against Austin Voth. Game 60 starts at 3:05 p.m. ET from Nationals Park as the Mets hope to avoid last place.

 

New York Mets: Matz Fails in Return to Rotation in 15-2 Loss

The New York Mets were out of options in their starting rotation, so Steven Matz lucked into the start against the Atlanta Braves. Matz’s outing went exactly the way we all expected it to. The Braves treated it like batting practice and gave the same treatment to Franklyn Kilome to put up a 15-2 victory.

The only savior for the Mets would have been a rainout because of the lack of confidence in Matz. It was the same pitcher they had before his IL stint, and he put the Mets in a hole early. Over 2.2 innings pitched, Matz allowed six runs on eight hits, including two more home runs. It was part of the Braves scoring in the first four innings of the game.

Kilome returned to the Mets roster before the game since the Mets needed relief help. He provided relief but did not offer any help in the game. Kilome allowed six runs and another two home run to the Braves offense.

Hughes to the Rescue

Jared Hughes came in for a rare long relief appearance throwing 3.2 innings and allowing three more runs and two more homers. While it was not the best performance, it saved the Mets from overusing their bullpen.

Brad Brach and Todd Frazier (you read that right) were the only pitchers with scoreless appearances. While Brach’s was only a one-out cameo, Frazier hurled a 1-2-3 inning in the ninth. He even got Adam Duvall to strikeout looking on a knuckleball.

On the other side, Max Fried continued his Cy Young campaign. Over five innings, he only had three strikeouts but held the Mets to one run, keeping his ERA under two. Jeff McNeil provided the only offense off Fried with an RBI double in the fifth.

Amed Rosario provided three of the five Mets hits on the night. His sixth-inning single gave the Mets their second and final run of the game.

On Saturday, David Peterson tries to become the first Mets starter to make it to the third inning in three games. He faces Ian Anderson at 7:07 p.m. ET from Citi Field.

New York Mets: Offense Held Silent in 3-2 Loss to Blue Jays

Amed Rosario, New York Mets

The New York Mets could not produce the same way the did in their 18-1 victory on Friday night. All the Blue Jays needed were three runs off Seth Lugo to secure themselves a 3-2 victory to even up the series at one game apiece

Lugo was dominant through the first three innings of his start. He held the Blue Jays to a single and struck out four. The following 2.1 innings had a different story for Lugo as he seemed to progressively lose steam and the feel for his curveball as his pitch count rose.

Lugo gave up a run in each of the last three innings he pitched along with six hits. His curveball hung in the fourth inning and struggled to a point where he barely used it for the rest of the start. His velocity also sat around 92-94 with the occasional 95. It was not a great start for Lugo, but it certainly put the Mets in a position to win.

Ray Too Much to Handle

One year ago, Robbie Ray did not get out of the first inning against the Mets. It was the only bad start Ray has made against them and he found his groove early. Ray held the Mets to one run over five innings and struck out five. His money pitch was his slider and used it often as he got deeper in his start. The start was much needed for Ray and lowered his season ERA to 6.85.

Jake Marisnick provided the only run off Ray with a double in the fourth inning. Unfortunately later in the game, Marisnick had to leave the game with right hamstring issues. It was the same injury that kept him sidelined early in the season.

The only other run came on a gift when Joe Panik fumbled a double play transfer allowing Wilson Ramos to score in the seventh inning.

Amed Rosario had a good game with three hits but he showed once again why he is not an everyday player. After getting first base with a gift wild pitch strikeout, he fails to advance on a ball in the dirt then proceeds to get picked off to end the game with the red hot Jeff McNeil at the plate.

A pair of lefties square off in a 3:07 p.m. ET start time as David Peterson faces Hyun-Jin Ryu in the final game of the series.

New York Mets Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles (9/8-9/9)

New York Mets, Amed Rosario

The New York Mets welcome in the Baltimore Orioles for a short two-game series at Citi Field. They split their two-game series last week, but both teams currently sit on the outside looking in of the playoff race.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tuesday, (9/8) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: John Means (0-3, 8.10 ERA) vs. Michael Wacha (1-2, 7.20 ERA)

Wednesday, (9/9) @ 7:10 p.m. ET: TBD vs. Rick Porcello (1-4, 5.54 ERA)

Michael Wacha looks to put together a good start after a season full of poor ones. He has failed to complete the sixth inning in any of his outings this season. Wacha could relax a little more in this start with the offense rolling and facing John Means, who allowed four runs in five innings against the Mets.

Lefty on Lefty

The Mets went with their right-handed heavy lineup against Means but left their three hottest left-handed hitters in the lineup. Michael Conforto is hitting .348 on the season and hitting a career-high .310 against southpaws. Jeff McNeil looks like the All-Star hitter he was last year, hitting home runs in back to back games and .381 over his previous 11 games.

Andres Gimenez is the third left in the lineup, and he joins Amed Rosario up the middle. Gimenez earned the opportunity to start against a lefty with his efforts in the series against the Phillies. Even if he struggles in game one, his gold glove caliber defense is tough to remove from the field. Since Rosario does not have the glove Gimenez has, Rosario gets to stay at shortstop while the versatile Gimenez goes to second base.

Matchups/Stats to Lookout For

Jeff McNeil on the First Pitch in 2020: 9-for-26 (.346), 5 Doubles, Home Run

Pete Alonso Batting Fifth in 2020: 5-for-13 (.385), 2 Doubles, Home Run, Walk, 4 Strikeouts

Jose Iglesias During Away Games in 2020: 22-for-50 (.440), 7 Doubles, Walk, 9 Strikeouts

 

New York Mets: Gimenez will start his fourth straight game at shortstop on Monday, what about Rosario?

The New York Mets entered the season with Amed Rosario as their starting shortstop. He had a .287/.323/.432 line last year and was even better in the second half, and the team officials thought he was going to break out in 2020.

Well, it’s safe to say that hasn’t been the case. Whereas he had a 100 wRC+ last season, which is basically league average offense, he is at 61 wRC+ in 2020. His inconsistent offense and defense have prompted New York Mets’ manager Luis Rojas to give more reps to rookie Andres Gimenez at Rosario’s expense.

Gimenez has started the last three games and will make his fourth straight appearance on Monday. He had a two-run single on Sunday and has a nice little .412 batting average in his last seven contests.

For the season, the Mets’ rookie has a .282/.329/.385 line with a 97 wRC+. As a left-handed hitter, he has been getting most of the playing time against righties, limiting Rosario to facing mostly lefties. It isn’t necessarily a permanent arrangement, but it is the one that seems to be working as of now.

The Mets’ gritty weapon

Gimenez is versatile, being capable of playing all over the infield but first base. He is speedy, he plays hard, and he has been trying to hit for power. If he keeps working and develops his game even further, the Mets could have an interesting debate as to which player could be the long-term starter at shortstop.

Prior to the weekend games, Rosario was benched after a three-hit performance against the Yankees.

“Right now, in this stretch that we are [in], we’re going to say that Giménez is getting back-to-back games because he’s looked really good against right-handed pitchers,” Rojas said to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. “Rosie looked good his last game, but right now, we’re basically spending some time using Giménez as a hot hand.”

New York Mets: Rosario Walks it Off in 4-3 Victory

If you are a fan of the New York Mets, the last 20 minutes of their game against the New York Yankees was filled with happiness. You found out that Steve Cohen is the last name remaining for the sale of the team, and Amed Rosario walked off, in Yankee Stadium, against Aroldis Chapman. The two-run homer gave the Mets a 4-3 victory and moved the Mets to 15-16 on the season.

The seventh-inning comeback started with an eight-pitch battle, which led to a Jeff McNeil walk. Billy Hamilton pinch ran and ended up stealing second to move in scoring position for Rosario, who was pinch-hitting for Luis Guillorme. He worked himself into a 2-0 count and drove a hanging slider into the empty left-field bleachers for the “road” walk-off.

Peterson Survives Through Four

In his first start off the IL, David Peterson gave the Mets four innings and allowed three runs. He ran into trouble with one bad inning during the third. He allowed all three Yankee runs and walked three in the third inning. If it were a nine-inning game, Peterson likely would have pitched the fifth as well.

Like game one, the Mets bullpen held the Yankees scoreless and gave the Mets a chance to come back. It goes overlooked, but the Mets could have easily allowed the Yankees to pull away through the middle innings.

Dominic Smith led the way once again for the Mets offense. He had two hits, including a double and an RBI. Brandon Nimmo also contributed an RBI double as well and is right behind Smith for the team lead in extra-base hits.

The Mets have not announced a starter for Saturday’s game, but they will face off against J.A. Happ. The first pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

New York Mets: Offense Puts the Game Away Late in 8-3 Victory

Tuesday’s game for the New York Mets started with some worry as David Peterson landed on the 10-day Injured List with left shoulder fatigue. Corey Oswalt received the spot start and survived long enough that the Mets offense gave him the support he needed.

Oswalt lasted 4.1 innings, allowing five hits, two runs, no walks, and striking out four Marlins. He retired nine in a row at one point before running into trouble in the fourth inning. For a spot start on late notice, it was about the best the Mets could ask for. Justin Wilson, Jared Hughes, and Dellin Betances had shutout outings after Oswalt exited.

Edwin Diaz had a chance to finish off the victory but labored through his one inning of work. Francisco Cervelli led off with a double and a couple of infield singles, with a throwing error from Diaz got the Marlins a run. From that point, Diaz calmed himself down to strike out the final three batters he faced to end the game.

Plenty of Offense

For the second consecutive night, the Mets offense gave their pitching plenty of runs to work with. Brandon Nimmo led the way, finishing just a double short of the cycle. Amed Rosario had a much-needed breakout night with the bat. He recorded his second home run of the season and drove in three runs. Every Met in the starting lineup except Jeff McNeil and Tomas Nido recorded a hit.

The Mets went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. When the offense records multiple hits w/RISP then they can live with a night like this. The issues arise when they record zero or one hit in these critical situations.

Jacob deGrom returns to the mound on Wednesday as he tries to make it three straight Mets victories. Pablo Lopez opposes him at 7:10 p.m. ET from Marlins Park.

New York Mets: Luis Rojas says Amed Rosario has to be ‘more disciplined’ offensively

Amed Rosario, New York Mets

Since designated hitter/outfielder Yoenis Cespedes opted out of the 2020 Major League Baseball season (August 2), the New York Mets depth chart has changed. As part of that shuffle, shortstop Amed Rosario’s role has been altered.

The team’s shortstop for the better part of the last three years, Rosario finds himself battling for playing time, which is partially due to his lack of production at the plate. Across 71 plate appearances, he is hitting .211, with a .521 OPS, a 44 OPS+, and five RBIs. Rosario hasn’t recorded a walk.

Mets manager Luis Rojas says that Rosario needs to be “more disciplined” in the batter’s box (quotes per Mike Puma of the New York Post).

“[Rosario] has got to be more disciplined with the zone,” manager Luis Rojas said before the game. “We have seen how much he is expanding. This kid has the ability to put the bat on the ball and when you start expanding, you are going to end up chasing early and putting the ball in play. When you do that the ball is not going to be hit very hard and that is what’s happening to him.”

Across his big-league career, Rosario is hitting .267 with a .702 OPS and a 91 OPS+ while totaling 29 home runs and 138 RBIs.

In the wake of Rosario’s struggles and veteran second baseman Robinson Cano hitting the injured list, infielders Andres Gimenez and Luis Guillorme have seen an uptick in playing time; Gimenez has garnered 61 plate appearances this season; Guillorme has garnered 29 plate appearances and is hitting .458 with a 1.059 OPS and a 200 OPS+.

Cano returned to the Mets lineup on Friday. The second baseman is hitting .412 with a 1.152 OPS, a 218 OPS+, and 13 RBIs across 14 games this season.

The Mets are 10-14, which is good for fourth place in the National League East. They continue a four-game series with the division-rival Miami Marlins on Tuesday.

New York Mets: Cano and Alonso Power Mets to an 11-4 Victory

New York Mets, Pete Alonso

The New York Mets desperately needed a good victory after a three-game sweep in Philadelphia. Even more than that, Pete Alonso needed a tremendous offensive day as well. Alonso and Robinson Cano combined for two home runs each and drove in six of the Mets runs in an 11-4 victory over the first-place Miami Marlins.

The Mets offense needed a good breakout game. They went 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and despite leaving 12 runners on base, the extra hits in those situations make a significant difference. Their offense put together nine extra-base hits and seven walks to consistently keep the Marlins in tough situations.

Alonso reached base in all five plate appearances, tallying a single and two walks with his two home runs. Cano tallied three hits and drove in four RBIs on the night, moving his average to a blistering .412. Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario joined the multiple hits club with a single and double each.

Shreve Saves the Day

Robert Gsellman struggled for his second straight start. He only lasted 1.2 innings, allowing one run and labored through 47 pitches. Chasen Shreve came in after Gsellman and stabilized the game when it seemed like the Marlins were coming back from a 3-1 deficit. Shreve pitched 2.1 perfect innings and struck out five of the seven batters he faced. His outing saved the Mets from using an excess amount of relievers and allowed the Mets to build up their lead from that point.

The victory got the Mets their 10th win of the season and moved them within three games of a playoff spot. With their two best starters lineup to pitch, they are in a good position to climb themselves out of their early-season hole.

David Peterson takes the mound for the Mets on Tuesday night against a Marlins starter to be announced. The first pitch from Marlins Park takes place at 7:10 p.m. ET.