How can Amed Rosario impact the Tampa Bay Rays' lineup?

With the Tampa Bay Rays signing Amed Rosario, here is a look into how he can affect the Tampa Bay Rays lineup in 2024.

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three / Elsa/GettyImages

On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Rays signed former Los Angeles Dodgers/Cleveland Guardians shortstop Amed Rosario to a one-year, $1.5 million deal. Last season in Los Angeles/The Land, he batted .263 in 510 at-bats with six home runs and an OPS of .683.

Rosario was a patient hitter at the plate with pretty good strikeout numbers,having the lowest total (99) in seasons in which he has had at least 500 at-bats last season. He does not get walked often, but his ability to make fielders work for outs puts pressure on any opponent Tampa Bay will play.

It is not the biggest bat signing in terms of making waves around Major League Baseball, but this move can easily help the Rays when they have to play against lefty pitchers. Tampa Bay has several left-handed batters already, like Josh Lowe, Jonathan Aranda, and Brandon Lowe.

Rays sign Amed Rosario: Instant Reaction

He is significantly better against lefties than righties over the course of his career, too, with a .298 average against southpaws overall.

This leads to Rosario playing in many different fielding positions in both the infield and outfield throughout the season. In 2023 with the Dodgers, Rosario played both at second and shortstop, putting up fielding percentages of 1.000 and .967 respectively. Tampa Bay loves to play mix and match, in accordance with their hustle/small ball ethos, and Rosario fits right in there.

Both of these positions for Tampa Bay have a need for a fresh player. Lowe usually plays second base, but he had four separate injuries during last season. And while Jose Caballero looks promising at shortstop, he is a newer player the Rays got via trade, and there is a still a sense of unprovenness with both he and youngster Junior Caminero. Rosario can add a direct backup role to both of those infield positions and others as well.

The utility role is looking pretty suitable for Rosario as the 2024 season looms for the Rays. The infield depth has been filled for Kevin Cash's squad, and there are a multitude of places he could play to help keep the defense steady in St. Pete, even if he doesn't hit.