The days of Wilson Ramos and Amed Rosario being everyday players for the Mets appear to be over. Neither was in the lineup against the Phillies on Saturday night and both are going to have to share their positions going forward.
Manager Luis Rojas, speaking of why Andres Gimenez started at shortstop for the second straight game after Rosario had three hits on Thursday in his last start, said: “I always stood behind saying Rosie is our primary shortstop, but that’s what we’re doing now. Just basically giving both a chance.”
And when asked why Robinson Chirinos was getting the nod over Ramos against Phillies rookie righthander Spencer Howard and what that means for the catching position, Rojas said: “We’ll see how it plays out. Having Robinson Chirinos here, that acquisition is definitely going to help us — I’m going to say — to have some more split time in between those two. I said the other day that Ramos was our catcher. Ramos will get his chance. Robinson will get his chance. We’ll see day-by-day how it goes.”
Ramos’ partial benching could be considered a long time coming, especially after the Mets acquired Chirinos from Texas at the Aug. 31 trade deadline.
Ramos, 33, known as an offensive catcher, was batting .228 with two homers, eight RBIs and a .611 OPS going into Saturday. That’s a far cry from his 2019 numbers, when Ramos hit .288 with 14 homers, 73 RBIs and a .768 OPS.
Ramos has a $10 million contract option with a $1.5 million buyout for 2021.
Chirinos isn’t exactly the catcher of the future. The 36-year-old was batting .119 with Texas in 14 games. He, too, has a contract option for 2021 worth $6.5 million with a $1 million buyout.
Tomas Nido, the Mets’ usual No. 2 catcher, was added back to the 60-man player pool on Saturday after a bout with COVID-19. He will report to the team’s alternate site in Brooklyn to get back into baseball shape.
If it’s unclear which direction the Mets will go at catcher next season, their leanings at shortstop for 2021 seem to be coming into focus.
The organization simply adores the heady Gimenez. He started on Friday and Saturday even though Rosario had gone 3-for-4 on Thursday against the Yankees.
Rosario, 24, was batting .229 with three home runs, 13 RBIs and a .592 OPS.
“I spoke to him,” Rojas said. “I explained to him what we’re going to do as far as starting lineup and just to be ready off the bench in whatever capacity we’re going to use him . . . He had a really good game the last game he started. His approach has looked a little bit better lately. The constant talk with him and his routine and everything, we need to keep him in there. Gimenez, as well, has been swinging the bat well."
Gimenez, a lefthanded batter who turned 22 on Friday, went into Saturday batting .268 with one home run, four RBIs and a .696 OPS.
“Right now, in the stretch that we are [in], we’re going to say that Gimenez is getting back-to-back games because he’s looked really good against righthanded pitchers,” Rojas said. “Rosie was good in his last game, but right now we’re basically splitting some time. We see Gimenez as a hot hand.”
At least Rosario isn’t as bad off as poor Luis Guillorme, who was batting .390, but can hardly get in the lineup since the Mets reacquired Todd Frazier at the deadline. Frazier was at third base on Saturday with J.D. Davis getting the start as the designated hitter.