Mets' Luis Rojas discusses resting Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez in late postseason push

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Luis Rojas close up grey uni
Luis Rojas close up grey uni

The Mets had continued their winning streak and crawled to within 3.5 games of the NL East lead, and a chance to make up more ground.

But in game two, the Mets opted to sit Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez, both of whom went deep in game one against the Washington Nationals.

The Mets, who now have 26 games left, got just four hits in a 4-3 loss in game two of Saturday's doubleheader.

For Luis Rojas, there is a challenge between resting superstars and understanding they need to be on the field.

“It’s hard. You want those guys every game," he said.

Rojas added that the two extra innings in game one (which made it a normal nine-inning game) played a role in benching both players, who Rojas said "ran a lot" and "covered a lot of ground."

Along with Brandon Nimmo's injury on the first game, Lindor and Baez have had tricky injuries this year, which also factored into their absence from the game two starting lineup.

"When guys are playing too many games that they have, especially those two guys have already spent some time on the IL," said Rojas. "It is hard, especially with the way we’re swinging. It started off pretty good even though they we were absent in the lineup, but these are some of the things we’re working with right now. We don’t want to have any more of that. … We want to prevent this from happening. Not trying to push the guys too much on a day like today after playing nine innings in that first one.

"You gotta see the game. You gotta watch and talk to the players and the performance staff. You want all those guys to be there for the remainder of the season every game, but the games are gonna tell you where the guys are at, and we’ll make all the decisions based on that. But our intent is to have them play every game. Not the case in the second game today, because of some of the things from the first game led to being a longer game and all the things they had in recent history, it just happened to them."

Rojas said it is a "collaboration" among himself, the performance staff, and the players to decide the best move.

“It was everyone’s decision," he explained. "And it was one of those things we were debating because of some of the things they’ve dealt with. We’re trying to keep the guys fresh moving forward. We know the amount of games that are left in the season, but at the same time, we were watching the games. And that first game, they ran a lot. They covered a lot of ground, and we take that in consideration. We talk to the player, and they give us the feedback of how they feel, as well. It’s not just one person making a decision out of gut feel. It’s just, kind of factoring what's going on and how the person feels. Everyone’s involved in the conversation."