Mets need to let the kids play
By Michelle Ioannou
The fact that Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith are being taken out of games early, or aren’t even starting to begin with is just absurd
Rookies need to play. They need to get regular at-bats in. They need to get field action in consistency. This all seems like common sense, right? Well, evidently it isn’t for Terry Collins and the Mets.
They’re managing this team like we’re in the midst of a playoff push. We’re not. And we’re far from it.
Collins said when Rosario first came up that he wouldn’t play every day, simply because he’s never played this much in his career. We can assume the same holds true for Smith. But double-switching them out of games they’re in? Resting them when they don’t need rest? No.
I understand that games should be won. But, this season is long over. The Mets are 58-74 and are 13.5 games out of the Wild Card. They’re not going anywhere, except the 2018 season. Which is why the kids need to play, because they’re going to have a prominent role in the lineup next season.
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We are not in “must-win” situations. We are in a “this season is over and we really should just start building for next season so we’re not a total embarrassment yet again” situation. And the way to do that is to give players like Rosario and Smith their proper playing time, letting them finish games, and putting them in the starting lineup to begin with.
We should be trying to get Rosario and Smith comfortable both out in the field and at the plate. Let them get their kinks out now, and let them make mistakes — it truly doesn’t matter if this happens now. But if the 2018 season begins, and they’re still not getting easy outs, are still quiet at the plate, or are still bobbling balls, that will be a problem. This is their time to get out there, and get comfortable.
Unless Rosario or Smith note that they need a break, or that something is physically bothering them, they should be in and playing. It’s still absurd that Smith was double-switched out of his MLB debut, and it’s even more absurd that it’s almost a month after both of their debuts, and they’re still being double-switched out.
In 96 at-bats with the Mets, Rosario is .250/.273/.448, with four home runs, three triples, and eight RBIs. In 64 at-bats in the majors so far, Smith is .172/.194/.328 with three home runs and eight RBIs. Not bad, but obviously can be improved on, and obviously something that should be improved on before the 2018 season. And how can they improve? By getting more experience on a major league stage.
Practice makes perfect, right? And practice in the big leagues is different than practice in the minors, right? Heck, it’s even different than practice during Spring Training. This is the absolute perfect time for Rosario and Smith to be out there playing, to get more major league experience under their belt without the pressure of playoff push. Get them out there now, get them playing, and get them pumped and ready for the 2018 season.
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Again, this would be an entirely different scenario if the Mets were making a playoff push, and we were in constant must-win scenarios. But that’s not the case at all. And the kids needs to play.