Eddie Rosario's hot streak qualifies as one of the most enjoyable, interesting and conflicting elements of this MLB postseason.
If you follow the Twins, it's the sort of stretch you saw countless times from Rosario from 2015-20 as he compiled a .478 slugging percentage — and an .810 OPS in his final four seasons with the Twins. And it's the type of tear he was capable of producing in the playoffs, if only the Twins could have exorcised those demons in 2017, 2019 and 2020 while Rosario was still here.
For perspective on Rosario, I turned to Glen Perkins on Thursday's Daily Delivery podcast. In addition to being a keen observer of the game, Perkins of course was Rosario's teammate from 2015-17 as the end of his career overlapped with the start of Rosario's career.
"What he's done now, that's what teams are trying to do. You want to get to the playoffs and you want to get hot," Perkins said. "Eddie Rosario when he's hot, he's as good a hitter as anybody that I've ever seen. When he's not, he's not. When he's hot, he goes on tears. ... He has a knack for those big moments where it takes extra focus. In moments where you need a guy up there that is going to put together a good at bat and put a good swing on the ball, he's on the short list for me."
That dichotomy played out in 2021. After the Twins non-tendered Rosario rather than pay him roughly $10 or $11 million to stay in their outfield in 2021, he signed for $8 million with Cleveland and posted just a .695 OPS. Then he was traded to Atlanta, posted a .906 OPS down the stretch and set the world on fire in being named NLCS MVP.
I asked Perkins, who said he loved Rosario as a teammate, how to reconcile letting Rosario go given what he's doing in the playoffs even if it seemed like defensible and prudent decision. It is important to note that Rosario was just 5 for 23 in the playoffs with the Twins.
"I think it was the right move on the Twins' part," Perkins said. "I'm just happy that he is having success. I don't feel when he has success that, 'Man that's a guy the Twins let go that they shouldn't have.' ... It's OK that he's having success there, and it's OK that he's not having success with the Twins. I'm just happy for him as a player and as a person."