Wilin Rosario Playing In The Field Is A Head-Scratcher
Apr 9, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez (10) tags out Colorado Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario (20) attempting to steal second base during the fifth inning at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
One of the recurring Rockies story lines this winter was whether or not Wilin Rosario was going to be traded (presumably, to an American League team) since the club had finally decided he wasn’t going to be able to handle primary catching duties.
Nick Hundley was about the biggest offseason splash the Rox made, for better or worse (I think he’ll do well), but his addition created a logjam behind the plate with Rosario, at least defensively, the odd man out.
Hundley and Michael McKenry are better defenders, and neither one is a Drew Butera black hole with the bat in their hands, so the combination is an overall upgrade to Rosario, who really struggled last season with pitch-calling, throwing out base runners, pitch framing, and literally everything else a catcher is supposed to do.
Baby Bull only threw out 16% of base runners last season (the league average was 28%), and he’s led the league in passed balls three years in a row. Um.
So, if you’re the Rockies, what do you do with a poor defensive catcher? Put him at first base, duh! The legacy of Todd Helton rolls over in its grave (or… something).
Yeah. I can’t see Rosario playing first. I can’t see him playing right. I can’t even see him playing left, which is where you usually hide your worst defender, right? We’ve got guys in all those places. We’ve got good guys in all those places!
Ok, Corey Dickerson might see a huge regression (I guess that could happen), and Justin Morneau may be traded this year (that could possibly happen), and Carlos Gonzalez might strain his left eyelid and miss 834 games (that will definitely happen) and Rosario has to rescue us from ourselves.
Call to the Pen
But aside from the ridiculous, ask yourself: are the positives of his bat in the lineup enough to overcome the presence of Baby Bull in the field?
He’s never played good defense. He’s going to start now, though, at a position he’s never played professionally?
Dickerson, Gonzalez and Morneau are each better hitters than Rosario, so what are you going to do, replace them with him in some weird rotating platoon situation?
And if you leave Rosario on the bench, it’s too powerful of a bat to just use as a pinch-hitter. What a catch-22!
What should’ve happened, if you will allow us to play GM for a minute, is a trade. In about November. With the Rangers. Or somebody else who could use a catcher or a designated hitter in the American League.
That didn’t happen. And now we are stuck with a pretty damn good hitter (who also seems like a pretty good dude!) who’s an awful fielder. And we have to find a way to get his bat in the lineup while simultaneously hiding his glove in places where we already have better bats in the lineup.
Am I crazy (totally possible), or does this not make any sense? I can’t wait to see how this one is going to work out. What about you?