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The New York Mets have their new manager. A week after Carlos Beltran was forced to step down over his part in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, the Mets have reportedly hired Luis Rojas to take his place.
Luis Rojas will be the next manager of the Mets.
— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) January 22, 2020
Rojas, 38, was hired in December 2018 as the Mets’ quality control coach, but has been with the organization as a minor league coach and manager since 2007. He’s coached across five different minor league levels, and has been the manager of various Mets affiliates since 2011.
Rojas isn’t exactly a household name, even for Mets fans. Mets players, though, have a high opinion of him.
Here’s what Mets first baseman Dominic Smith had to say about him, via SNY:
"I was 17, turning 18, playing my first full season and he was my manager. Being a young kid around a bunch of college guys, that can be overwhelming, especially [in] your first stint in pro ball. I'd just come from high school, and he definitely helped me with not stressing and putting too much pressure on myself and having fun with the game."
Catcher Tomas Nido also had glowing praise:
"As a friend, outside of baseball, he tries to be the same with us. Nothing changes. He's not set on one way of thinking. He listens to what we think and how in some situations we might think differently. He's willing to listen to different opinions. He's someone who lets you play and isn't trying to change everything about you. He trusts you and gives you confidence, no matter how good or bad things are going for you."
Rojas, who is the son of Felipe Alou and the brother of Moises Alou, grew up around baseball players like Pedro Martinez and Larry Walker. He told MLB.com over the summer how much that helped him when he started managing minor league teams.
"Looking back, in this role, it was very valuable to have grown up in a baseball environment," Rojas, 37, said in Spanish. "I got comfortable interacting with big league players ... interacting with them, watching how they worked day to day, how they interacted amongst themselves, how they got along in the clubhouse."
As the quality control coach, Rojas’ job was to act as the uniformed liaison between the analytics staff and the players. Former Mets manager Mickey Callaway complimented his ability to communicate analytics concepts to the players, telling MLB.com “He does a great job of filtering through some of the analytical numbers and stuff like that to make them a little more usable."
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Rojas and the Mets are finalizing a multi-year deal.
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