The wait is now over. The New York Mets are looking to future on Tuesday night in Denver, when Amed Rosario makes his long anticipated major league debut at shortstop.
Call it a passing of torch if you will as veteran Jose Reyes, once the gem of the Mets minor league system all those years ago, now gives way to the man who will eventually replace him.
Like Reyes in 2004, Rosario comes with a great resume and lots of hype. The 21-year old holds a slash line of .328/.367/.466 with seven homers and 58 RBI for Triple-A Las Vegas. He also owns 19 stolen bases this season, and 60 swipes in his career.
While Rosario is hitting eighth tonight, the hope is that by the end of this year, and certainly going into 2018, Rosario will take over the lead-off spot for the Mets. That will allow Michael Conforto to hit in the middle of the order where he belongs.
The addition of Rosario comes after the Mets made some solid moves at the deadline. First they traded away Addison Reed to Boston for three minor league prospects. They also acquired a solid triple-A pitcher from Tampa Bay for Lucas Duda, and received a front line reliever who can help them right away in A.J. Ramos.
With Rosario now in fold, it only deepens the fact that the rest of the 2017 season is an audition to see who will be here in 2018. We know Rosario, Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes are not going anywhere. But, these are likely the final days of Reyes, Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker in Mets uniforms.
In a lot of ways this is a sad occasion, as much as it is a hopeful one. Why? Because Rosario's presence at short likely means we have seen the last of Jose Reyes as an everyday shortstop. While Mets fans knew this day was inevitable, especially when he is struggling with a .226 batting average, Reyes was a face of this franchise for a long time.
It feels odd that it is now 12 years since Reyes and David Wright became the faces of the Mets future. The days of Mike Piazza, Edgardo Alfonzo and company were history, and it was time for an influx of new blood. Reyes and Wright gave the Mets the youth and energy they were hopping for then. And they came oh so close in 2006 to that World Series, before falling to St. Louis in the NLCS. Wright finally got to a World Series two years ago, but Reyes never played in the Fall Classic.
Now it is time for Reyes to pass the baton over to Rosario.
Here's to the future.