Amed Rosario has taken off as a base-stealer.
That has especially been the case during the last month or so after Mickey Callaway began regularly putting the 22-year-old shortstop at the top of the Mets’ lineup. Heading into Sunday’s play, he was running second in the National League with nine steals since the All-Star break.
“I try to feel more confident when I try to steal,” Rosario said before the Mets’ 15-0 loss to the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. “I know before I didn’t play in the good slot for the steal because sometimes I’m hitting before the pitcher, and then when I’m at first with nobody out, he’s bunting or something. But right now I think in leadoff I feel much better.”
Rosario, who didn’t reach base in four at-bats Sunday, has swiped 14 bases in 18 tries after starting 1-for-5.
Callaway said Rosario was encouraged to “keep on getting bigger leads and keep trying to steal bases,” and to study the pitchers before games for “his moves and his looks and his times to home.”
“If we have a guy with his kind of speed and we’re not trying to teach him how to run, then we’re not doing our jobs,” Callaway said. “He’s doing a great job of making some of those adjustments, and I think he’s going to be a big base-stealing threat in the future for us.”
Jeff McNeil extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 games, but the rookie second baseman left after six innings because of tightness in his right quadriceps.
McNeil said it began during the fifth inning.
“A fly ball to rightfield, I went out, and on the way back in, I felt a little bit of tightness,” he said. “It just feels day-to-day, nothing too major.”
Brandon Nimmo went 1-for-3 with a walk and played eight innings in rightfield in his second rehab game with St. Lucie. . . . Nationals reliever Kelvin Herrera hurt his left foot while running to first to make a putout in the ninth and was carted off. The results of X-rays weren’t immediately available.