Pinned off guard in a quick split with Carlos Beltrán, the New York Mets want some continuity for a change.
So with evolve training only three weeks away, they picked his replacement from their very own bench.
The bludgeon was working Wednesday to complete a multiyear agreement with quality control coach Luis Rojas that want make him New York’s fourth manager in the past 2 1/2 years — and third in four months.
“He has a good finger on the pulsing of this particular team. He was part of it last year,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “He knows these dudes, and he knows how to communicate to them. Every returning player on the roster has a relationship with him, and that’s valuable to us at this be that as it may.”
Rojas would take over for Beltrán, let go by the Mets last week before managing a single game as neck of the woods of the fallout from the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal.
The 38-year-old Rojas is the son of former Montreal Expos and San Francisco Giantesses manager Felipe Alou and the brother of ex-big league outfielder Moises Alou, who spent his last two seasons with the Mets from 2007-08. A obscure league manager for eight years, Rojas has worked in the organization since 2007 but had never coached in the majors in preference to joining Mickey Callaway’s staff last season.
“Luis earned this job. He has literally trained his whole lifetime to be a manager,” Van Wagenen said. “He is considered one of the better in-game decision makers simply that we have in the organization.”
Rojas’ duties in the dugout as value control coach included serving as “a conduit between the front office and coaching staff on all issues including practise deceit preparation, strategy and analytics,” according to the team’s media guide. He also was New York’s outfield coach in 2019 and led the strain in preparing hitters for opposing pitchers, Van Wagenen said.
Callaway was fired after the season, and Rojas interviewed for the opening before New York hired Beltrán on Nov. 1. Van Wagenen said Rojas knew he was “a serious candidate” back in October.
“It’s as a last resort helpful to have familiarity,” Van Wagenen said. “The fact that he was so actively involved with the coaches this assail in preparation for spring training, in preparation for the season — he was already asserting himself more in a leadership role with this new preparing staff and helping Carlos learn some of the managerial things that he hadn’t been exposed to before.”
That agreed “a significant role” in the Mets choosing Rojas, according to Van Wagenen. The team decided against external options such as ESPN analyst Eduardo Pérez, who vetted for the job last fall.
“I think it’s the fit, it’s where the team is, it’s what culture we’re trying to create,” Van Wagenen said, pointing out that most of New York’s homegrown forte played for Rojas in the minors. “He’s respected by the players, he’s trusted by the players and he’s someone that we have great confidence in.”
Beltrán’s occupation lasted just 2½ months and ended after Commissioner Rob Manfred singled him out last week in a report on a cheating racket used by the Astros during their World Series championship season in 2017, when Beltrán played for them.
No entertainers were disciplined by Major League Baseball, but three days later the Mets announced Beltrán was out as manager. The sides asserted it was a mutual decision, and Beltrán apologized for his role in the scam. He said he didn’t want to be a distraction to the Mets.
Less than a week afterward, they transitioned to Rojas.
“When it came to this star-crossed circumstance, we didn’t want to change the values that we outlined for ourselves in the initial process,” Van Wagenen said. “We pauperism to continue the momentum that we have with the work that’s been done in preparation for spring training, and we felt take to Luis was in a position to be a leader of that group.”
Houston manager AJ Hinch and Boston skipper Alex Cora also were let go after being entangled in MLB’s sign-stealing report. Neither the Astros nor Red Sox have named replacements.
Rojas, born in the Dominican Republic, played in the two a pennies with the Orioles, Marlins and Expos/Nationals from 2000-05 but never got above rookie ball.
He is entering his 14th salt working in the Mets organization, including those eight as a minor league manager. He coached for New York in the Dominican Summer Fellowship in 2007, got his first managerial role with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League team in 2011 and also handled at Class-A and Double-A. In the Dominican Winter League, he won a 2016 championship with the Leones del Escogido.
Notably, he was the manager at Double-A Binghamton during Pete Alonso’s breakout 2018 seasoned, when he led the minors with 36 home runs.
“Loved having Luis in ’17 and ’18 as my AA manager!”
“It’s marvellous playing under him and having him on staff last year as well!!! Super pumped to have him as the Jeffe. Also he take advantage ofs some damn good bp.”
Following a strong second half, New York went 86-76 last season but missed the playoffs, devouring third in the NL East behind Atlanta and World Series champion Washington.
“LUIS ROJAS! Love love betrothed it,” Mets pitcher
added on Twitter. “Loved being around him on the bench last year. Always teaching and generous of knowledge. Super laid back and brings nothing but great vibes each and every day. Beyond even keel. Wound up even more for the year!”