The Mets are thinking outside the box to potentially address their center field problem. Entering Sunday, the club’s aggregate .598 OPS from its center fielders ranked fourth-worst in baseball behind the Orioles (.594), Padres (.583), and Royals (.564). Juan Lagares and Carlos Gómez simply haven’t cut it with Brandon Nimmo out indefinitely due to a bulging disk in his neck.
Newsday’s Tim Healey reports that the Mets have broached the idea of moving shortstop Amed Rosario to center field. While Rosario has hit decently, bringing a .715 OPS into Sunday’s action, his defense has left much to desired whether one judges him by the eye test or by the various defensive metrics available. In a sense, moving Rosario off of shortstop and into center could address two issues at once.
If the Mets were to make such a change, Adeiny Hechavarría would become the everyday shortstop. Despite a reputation for having a light bat, Hechavarría held an OPS only 23 points lower than Rosario’s coming into Sunday. Though the recent sample sizes have been small, Hechavarría is still believed to be a solidly above-average defensive shortstop.
Manager Mickey Callaway said of Rosario, “He’s still our starting shortstop. It’s nothing imminent. So it’s just something we’re thinking about and maybe preparing for.”
Rosario said he would be willing to make the transition if it would help the team. After losing Sunday’s contest to the Cubs, the Mets are 37-41, good for fourth place and nine games out of first place.