After forgettable April, Rosario continuing strong start to May

BOSTON – Eddie Rosario had a forgettable April. In fact, he’s had forgettable Aprils throughout his 10-year career.

In 19 games last month, the 32-year-old outfielder slashed .053/.115/.070 with a .185 OPS, no home runs and no RBIs. He had one double as his lone extra-base hit. Even his three games in March were better: 273/.250/.636 with an .886 OPS, one homer and three RBIs.

That left him with a career slash line of .205/.248/.369 with a .617 OPS in March/April, by far his worst months of the year.

But when the calendar flipped to May, so did his production at the plate.

Rosario is now slashing .417/.533/.958 with a 1.492 OPS in nine games in May, which is over 1.300 points higher than his OPS in April.

“It took me a little bit to find myself,” Rosario said via interpreter Octavio Martinez. “Just to try to get in a rhythm and in a good routine. I think a lot of times when you show up like that, late to spring training, that's part of the plan. It just everything quickens up on you. So I'm just trying to find a good groove and routine to work on and the rhythm. Luckily, it's coming together right now.”

Rosario signed a minor league deal with the Nats on March 6, three weeks into spring training. Although he only hit .174 with a .484 OPS in nine Grapefruit League games, the Nats put him on the Opening Day roster based on his track record with Minnesota, Cleveland and Atlanta.

His slow start brought upon some calls from fans for top prospect James Wood to come up to make his major league debut.

But since Rosario made the team out of spring training, the Nats are now committed to paying him $2 million guaranteed, while he could earn up to $4 million with incentives. So they were not going to give up on him quickly even after a rough start to the year.

Their patience paid off.

Thanks to a 4-for-8 series over the weekend in Boston, in which he hit two home runs and drew three walks, Rosario is now riding a seven-game hitting streak. Over that span, he is 10-for-22 (.455) with 10 runs scored, a double, four home runs, six RBIs, six walks and four stolen bases.

Fans may still want to see Wood in the majors, but they can’t deny Rosario has finally flipped the page. All it took was to flip the month on the calendar.

“He's staying behind the ball,” Davey Martinez said after Sunday’s finale at Fenway Park. “He's getting the ball in the strike zone. He got another (two walks) today, which is great. He's seeing the ball really well, but really getting the ball in the strike zone. He's swinging the bat really, really well.”

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