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Guardians Of Their Infield: Rosario and Giménez

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Bronx, NY- Recall a few years ago at Citi Field when former Mets manager and current Yankees third base coach Luis Rojas saw the arrival of top prospects Amed Rosario and Andres Giménez. Then the Mets were hindered with injuries in their infield and both got the call for reinforcements.

Then, a tough role to fill for both as young non roster free agents that became a major component of the Mets youth movement. There would eventually be playing time at Double-A Binghamton and then at Triple -A Las Vegas.

Giménez, 20 years old (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) signed in 2015, exhibited speed and defense. Rosario, the 19-year old (Santo Domingo, DR) and in a plan to succeed Jose Reyes at shortstop, was shy and struggling to adapt to the big city and language barrier.

They got the call and filled the void. Giménez got significant playing time during the COVID short 2020 season. Rosario, though, got the bulk of playing time, struggled at the plate, and made those defensive gems in the infield.

They said we were looking at the future double play combination of the Mets at second at short, and both were adapted at two positions in the infield, third base, and left field. Rosario also got some starts in center field and at times there was talk that would be his eventual role with the Mets.

But the Mets continued to struggle. There needed to be changes and the future once with Rosario and Giménez was shipped to Cleveland as part of a six-player trade in January 2021.

“I am so happy for Giménez and Amed,”said Rojas Friday night at Yankee Stadium.”They worked hard. Glad they are contributing over in Cleveland. At that time they did what they had to do.”

They were In the starting lineup for manager Terry Francona as the first place Guardians opened a three-game series in the Bronx that went to the Yankees 4–1. Rosario at short, batting sixth and Giménez last in the lineup at second base.

That potential and future double play combination for the Mets are content and part of the Guardians, formerly the Indians, and a trade at the time that got criticized is working in their favor. Both are consistently in the lineup and Francona has seen their intensity to get better.

“They work at it everyday,” Francona said. “They are young and can only get better and work off each other.”

Rosario and Giménez arrived in Cleveland and did not know what to expect. At first the adjustment was difficult with a new team and city out of the New York City landscape, They can be seen doing pre game drills as a unit and were side by side near their dressing quarters in the visitors clubhouse at Yankee Stadium.

“Things are working,” Giménez said. “ Im blessed to get the opportunity… the most important thing. I really appreciated the opportunity with the Mets now focused on the opportunity here.”

Image Credit: Major League Baseball

Giménez reached base on a shallow hit to right in the 5th inning, his 7th hit in the last nine games. Though, a rally was cut short when Aaron Judge in center field for the fifth time this season made a strong throw to third base that nailed Giménez trying to take an extra base on a one-out single

Giménez hesitated for a moment as he rounded second and decided to test the strong arm of Judge. The Yankees knew coming in about the Guardians speed and aggressive speed on the bases.

“It wasn’t not a good time to go,” Francona said. “But it wasn’t a good time to hesitate and not go.”

Rosario was involved in the one- run Cleveland scored in the fourth but did not score after a double to left center field. He also singled in the sixth and recorded his third multi-hit game of the season.

“It feels good.” Rosario said about manning the infield with Giménez. “We are here to do our best. Seeing the at bats and trying to put the ball in play.”

Image Credit: Major League Baseball

And they both will be in the lineup again Saturday afternoon. A few years ago the Mets gave up a part of their future. Now The Guardians, as they are now known, are feeling good about their young infield combination.

Rich Mancuso is a senior writer for Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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