The New York Mets disabled list continues to grow seemingly by the day. Just this past week, Asdrubal Cabrera, Josh Smoker, Matt Harvey and Juan Lagares were placed on the DL as the team geared up for a weekend series against the Washington Nationals. Second baseman Neil Walker is also expected to miss “several months” with a partially torn hamstring. The team called up infielders T.J. Rivera, Gavin Cecchini and Matt Reynolds, as well as pitcher Rafael Montero and outfielder Brandon Nimmo as reinforcements.
In those roster moves, one prospect remained noticeably absent: shortstop Amed Rosario. The Mets’ top prospect is putting together a stellar Triple-A season, to the tune of a .337 batting average with seven home runs and 48 runs batted in through 66 games in Las Vegas. Given the injuries to Cabrera and Walker, the time seemed perfect for the 21-year-old Rosario to make his long-anticipated MLB debut. General manager Sandy Alderson had other ideas.
“Right now, we’re comfortable where we are,” Alderson said in last Thursday’s press conference. “We want to make sure when Rosario, or any of our top prospects come up, we don’t want them to go back.”
That logic seems a bit misguided at the moment. The Mets sit at 30-37 as of Sunday morning, and have a roster decimated by injury. Without so many key pieces, can they make a legitimate run at the NL East crown at this point? Alderson does not want to ship Rosario back and forth between New York and Las Vegas. Yet, protecting Rosario’s psyche should not be the main concern right now.
Rosario has clearly proven himself in the minors, and with Cabrera out for the foreseeable future, he seems to be the next best option at shortstop. Even Jose Reyes, who is batting .191 as of Sunday, is not hitting well enough to warrant consistent starting duties.
What do the Mets have to lose by having Rosario play the shortstop position for the time being? At best, Rosario will excel and show himself as the franchise player the Mets hope for. At the worst, the Mets simply return Rosario to Triple-A for further development.
The team is no stranger to sending prospects back and forth between the majors and minors. They did it last season with Michael Conforto, and it appears to be paying off for him this year. For Alderson to claim the case is different for Rosario sounds like an excuse to keep the team’s crown jewel prospect in the minors.
Not much has gone right for the Mets thus far in 2017. Calling up Rosario would be a first step in seeing what can go right for 2017 and beyond. Rosario is the team’s number-one prospect for a reason. He has star potential and deserves to put it on display as soon as possible.
Jesse Andreozzi is a staff writer at Outside Pitch Sports Network covering the New York Mets. Follow him on Twitter @Jesse_Andreozzi.