When Alex Anthopoulos went out and acquired Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario at the trade deadline, Rosario was a bit of an afterthought. While Pederson, Soler and Duvall all stepped into the lineup immediately, Rosario was on the injured list with an abdominal strain and hadn’t played since July 5. It wasn’t clear what role he would fill on the roster.
Rosario made his Braves debut as a pinch hitter on August 28. Prior to that game, Brian Snitker pointed out that the team was focused on winning games and that Rosario would fit in wherever, but likely as a bench player. It didn’t take long for Rosario to work himself into the mix and his hot hitting helped carry the Braves to another division title and to within one win of advancing to the World Series.
“I’m still dreaming for bigger things. I kind of want more at this point and just dreaming for the next thing and hopefully we can get there,” Rosario said following Wednesday’s win.
Rosario has kept right on producing during the postseason and is 10-for-17 in the NLCS after his four-hit, two-homer performance in Game 4. He is 14-for-30 with a .515 OBP since the postseason began.
“Eddie’s been in the moment here. I tell you what, he’s liked this postseason play, that’s for sure,” Snitker said of Rosario following Game 4. “Good for him. I looked up and I told Walt, he’s a double away from the cycle again and then he hit a homer, so that’s better. He’s had a really good postseason.”
Anthopoulos deserves a lot of credit. He didn’t just go out and replace an entire outfield at the deadline, he also added depth. The Braves have been without Soler since he tested positive for COVID-19 prior to Game 4 of the NLDS. Snitker simply inserted Pederson back into the lineup and the team hasn’t missed a beat.
Rosario got things started quickly for the Braves in Game 4 with a second inning home run off of Julio Urias. He is a famously aggressive hitter, but is locked in and has a good idea of what opposing pitchers are trying to do to him.
“I feel really good no matter what they throw me,” Rosario said of his homer off Urias. “I know when I’m hitting the fastball away, maybe the pitcher will try to get me out with a curveball or changeup, but I’m waiting and I’m waiting for a good pitch to hit and I’m doing a good job.”
Usually in every postseason, there are unlikely heroes. Rosario is currently filling that role for Atlanta.