After all the commotion with “ex-manager” Carlos Beltran, the Mets finally settle down and officially name Luis Rojas their manager for the start of the 2020 season. Rojas has been a part of the Mets organization since 2007, when he was hired as the coach for the Dominican Summer League Mets. He then coached the Gulf Coast League Mets the following year.
Rojas has some notable accolades as a manager. He won the 2013 South Atlantic League championship and won Manager of the Year. Rojas then led his team, Leones del Escogido, in the Dominican Professional Baseball League, to a league championship in 2016. He was named to the Mets major league coaching staff in 2019 as a quality control coach, and then eventually promoted to his current manager spot.
Rojas will have to be eased in to his spot as the Mets new manager. There isn’t much concern on if he is ready or not, but there was a reason that he wasn’t among the original finalists in the first go around. The good thing on Rojas’ end, is that he has an opportunity to shatter expectations that will not be set very high. It is expected that Mets are using Rojas as a temporary coach for just this year while they look for another manager next season.
Rojas might not be a big name, or even who the Mets wanted expected to ever be their major league manager, but he is loved in the organization. Since he’s been in the Mets organization for over 13 years, players and executives really like Rojas, as a person and as a member of the organization. This is great for team chemistry and clubhouse morale, as they are being led by someone they trust and respect. Star pitcher, Marcus Stroman, reacted on twitter, saying,
“LUIS ROJAS! Love love love it. Loved being around him on the bench last year. Always teaching and full of knowledge. Super laid back and brings nothing but great vibes each and every day. Beyond even keel. Excited even more for the year! @Mets“
Regardless of how this season goes, Luis Rojas is going to impact the Mets in a positive way, working hard and diligently to help develop these players and putting them into situations where they are more likely to succeed. The Boys in Blue and Orange fell a few games short of the playoffs last season because of the slow start they had before all-star break. The Mets made a historical run in the second half of the season, but it was too little too late as the National League East division was too strong.
The Mets will look to keep the energy they had at the end of last season, so they don’t end up with another dreadful start. New York is looking for another successful season from some players like, Rookie of the Year and home run leader, Pete Alonso, and 2x Cy Young pitcher, Jacob deGrom. If the Mets want to be playoff contenders next season, they need solid production from every day guys, like utility player, Jeff McNeil who batted .318 last season along with 162 hits. Last season was huge offensively for the Mets, as they had five players hit over 20 home runs.
As New York had a great season offensively, it was the bullpen that restricted them from being a truly elite club. Mets ranked 25th in the MLB in bullpen ERA, sitting at a combined 4.95 ERA. The bullpen had 37 blown saves, the worst in the MLB only behind the Red Sox at 41. Big time relief pitchers Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia both had lackluster seasons.
Diaz had seven blown saves himself, and Familia ended the season with an atrocious 5.70 ERA. The Mets bullpen need to follow in the steps of relief pitcher Seth Lugo, who had a impressive season, with a 2.7 ERA and a 7-4 record. New York have been able to minimally address this problem, as they signed pitchers, Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello. Both of these pitchers are starters, but one of them are bound to be moved to the bullpen because of the elite starting rotation the Mets already have.
As spring training is right around the corner, the Mets are starting to prepare for a successful 2020 season. As long as the Mets stars continue to shine, and other players just play their role, we may witness a serious championship contender right before our eyes.
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