Friday night was a party for the Cleveland Indians and the over 20,000 fans in attendance at Progressive Field.
The Indians took home an exciting 7-0 win and Aaron Civale looked like an ace.
The win also provided fans another glimpse of the potential of Amed Rosario.
He had four hits on the night and his batting average is up to .276 after a slow start to the year.
So much for any competition at the shortstop position.
Rosario’s Great Run
Friday was not the first time Rosario had four hits in a game this year.
The last Indians player to have three 4-hit games within the team’s first 60 games of a season was Asdrúbal Cabrera in 2009.
— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) June 12, 2021
This was, in fact, the third time he has done that, which is remarkable considering he didn’t get everyday work at the start of the season.
Rosario already has 12 hits in June and has come around to score 10 times.
That is true based on simple stats and with his WAR value that is approaching 1.0.
Winning The Shortstop Battle
Amed Rosario is one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) June 12, 2021
Fans were led to believe Gimenez was the new shortstop of the present and the future, but Rosario was not included in the deal by accident.
Gimenez started the year at shortstop, while the Indians gave Rosario time in the outfield.
But a .179/.226/.308 followed and it was clear the younger of the two needed more time in the minors.
Rosario is still only 25 years old and had a career-year in 2019.
2020 was a down year, however, moving forward it is going to be difficult to judge players too much given how bizarre that season was.
Now we are seeing Rosario get back to his 2019 levels of play given the more normal structure of the 2021 season.
Future At Shortstop
The Indians purposely stockpiled talent at shortstop and several players other than Rosario and Gimenez are hoping for a shot soon.
Gabriel Arias is arguably the biggest name, but he still has some time to develop before being in consideration to knock off those in front of him.
The best part about having so much talent is the front office has options.
If Rosario stays at this pace, that is great.
If not, Gimenez can get another shot.
There is no need to rush given the youth of the available shortstops in the organization.
Part of trading for prospects is understanding that not all will pan out to be future stars in town.
So having Rosario show up and become the long-term shortstop is not bad in any sense.
The Indians could always trade some prospects if they remain in a contention window for several years or if there are just too many players at one position who are blocked from the majors.
Most importantly, the Indians have found an above-average player at shortstop after trading Lindor.