A different perspective on Luis Rojas’ key decision in Wednesday’s Mets loss

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Luis Rojas close up grey uni
Luis Rojas close up grey uni

For all those howling about Mets manager Luis Rojas’ moves late in Wednesday’s loss to Miami, just consider the following:

Rojas always has reasoning for his decisions. The decisions do not always work, but they are never random or thoughtless.

It was no different with the move that will be sure to inflame talk radio on Thursday, pitching to Bryan De La Cruz in the 10th. De La Cruz drove in the winning run.

This was a tough call, and there were solid arguments for two courses of action: Trusting closer Edwin Diaz with De La Cruz, or walking him to face Lewin Diaz.

The argument for the latter was that De La Cruz raised his batting average to .342 in 117 at-bats, and Diaz was batting .108. First base was open. Easy, right?

I called one very smart baseball person who watched the game closely, and he said, “It was a feel thing. You’ve been watching this kid [De La Cruz] this week and he’s their best hitter right now. It would be different if [Jesus] Aguilar was in the lineup, but he wasn’t. But it would be a real bold feel call to have Diaz walk him. I can see both sides.”

The other side, which Rojas articulated after the game, was also valid: Why would you tell Edwin Diaz, with his stuff elite and his command sharp on this night, to avoid a rookie? Let him challenge the kid.

“We always like Diaz,” Rojas said. “Trust your closer, right? In a matchup, righty/righty, Diaz’s stuff always plays well. He’s not a guy who gets hit around. The one thing that gets Diaz in trouble is his command. We've seen that. That’s why we went with the matchup and trusted Diaz.”

For that trust, Rojas was rewarded with a tough loss and heavy criticism. But it wasn’t a simple call.

Every so often, you see a manager with no apparent idea what he is doing. The game moves fast, his moves backfire, and he says ridiculous things to explain them.

That’s not what's going on with Rojas, and it never will be. Agree or disagree with what he decides, he’s choosing from a menu of well-reasoned options, and his ability as a strategist will only improve with experience -- if he gets the chance.