Luis Rojas has had a lot on his plate as a first-year manager, including taking over for Carlos Beltran just weeks before spring training and dealing with his team being shut down for nearly a week due to positive tests for COVID-19.
Asked on Tuesday what the most effective part of Rojas' style has been, Jeff McNeil singled out the way he's interacted with the players.
"He just shows up every single day for us and he picks us up," McNeil told reporters via Zoom before Tuesday night's game against the Phillies in Philadelphia. "We've had some tough losses and he's always in the locker room picking us up, being positive. Saying 'you know, we'll get 'em tomorrow, way to battle, way to fight.' He's done a tremendous job with the guys in the clubhouse and I know we all like playing for him. ... He's always the same guy all the time. Super even keeled. Doesn't get too high or to low (which is) nice to have in a manager."
With the transfer of ownership to Steve Cohen pending the approval of MLB owners, it's fair to wonder what that might mean for the future of anyone in a management position with the Mets -- including Rojas and Brodie Van Wagenen.
Staying true to what his demeanor has been all season, Rojas did not deviate from his usual calm and thoughtful ways on Tuesday when he was asked about the Mets' pending ownership change and what kind of impact it could have.
SNY's Andy Martino wrote on Monday about Rojas, arguing that with Cohen's expected arrival, the manager should be retained for years to come.
Part of the reasoning was the way Rojas has communicated with his players, which McNeil touched on, with one source telling Martino that the players "love" Rojas.
In his first year at the helm, Rojas has so far guided the Mets to a 21-26 record, which has them on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs.
But the value of Rojas (or any manager) cannot be determined by simply looking at wins and losses, which is much more a function of the roster provided by the front office. Instead, a host of things need to be looked at -- including communication with players, which is something that Rojas is apparently acing.