When the dominican Amed Rosario and Andrés Giménez They were acquired as part of the package in the exchange that sent to the Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor and Venezuelan Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets, most of the attention fell on Giménez, who was the centerpiece of the Cleveland.
And after Giménez won the shortstop spot on Opening Day, Rosario remained in the background to the younger infielder and was forced to start the year in center field. But when Rosario was moved to his natural position, he immediately became an invaluable piece of the Indians’ lineup:
Rosario hit just .179 with a .555 OPS in April while working on his transition to the outfield. But after he moved to shortstop and established himself as the team’s second batter in the lineup, his numbers skyrocketed in May, hitting .307 with an .808 OPS, and he’s hitting .309 with runners in scoring position.
He’s had his ups and downs all year, but Rosario’s potholes never lasted long. And after a year in which José Ramírez was the sole source of consistency for the offense, it was a welcome sight to have two contributors at the top of the lineup.
The more Rosario hits, the more obvious it becomes that he belongs in the Guardians’ lineup in 2022, but the question remains whether he will be able to stay at shortstop. Cleveland has Gimenez and prospects Gabriel Arias and Tyler Freeman as the top options to eventually take the position, considering Rosario had -7 defensive runs saved this season, the fourth-lowest among shortstops in the majors.
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But Rosario’s bat came to life when he was moved to his natural position. Is that something future Guardians will want to risk messing with? These will be the questions the main office will have to answer during the offseason to find a way to keep his bat in the lineup.