Luis Rojas Excited About Mets Ownership and 2021 Season
Mets manager Luis Rojas offers updates on coaching changes, Cano's suspension, and Thor's progress after undergoing Tommy John Surgery.
When Luis Rojas was named the New York Mets manager less than a year ago, he entered the position under peculiar circumstances. Soon thereafter, a worldwide pandemic resulted in a protocol-filled new version of Major League Baseball.
Ahead of the 2021 season, however, with new ownership throwing their support behind him, Rojas is excited and ready to compete.
Rojas shared his excitement during a 60-minute Zoom conference. During that briefing he addressed various subjects, from his plans for veteran Amed Rosario to his conversation with the recently suspended Robinson Cano.
Mets Coaching Changes
To start, Rojas explained his rationale for the switch at bench coach. Just a few days ago, the Mets announced the hiring of Dave Jauss, who will replace Hansley Meulens as bench coach. Jauss served as bench coach for the Mets under Jerry Manuel in 2010 and later for the Pittsburgh Pirates under Clint Hurdle.
“One of the things that led me to hire Dave is our close personal relationship,” Rojas said. “His experience in the game also played a major role.”
Rojas acknowledged that there were more candidates for the position, but Jauss simply checked all of the boxes he and the organization were looking for.
Additionally, Rojas confirmed that pitching coach Jeremy Hefner will return.
As far as the remaining coaching roles go, conversations with Chili Davis to remain the hitting coach have gone well. Jauss and Hefner are the only confirmed coaches for 2021.
Talking to Robinson Cano
Luis Rojas was disappointed to hear that Cano had failed yet another PED test, resulting in his banishment for all of 2021.
“I think Robinson is great human being,” he said. “And he’s always been a great presence in the clubhouse for the rest of the guys and the coaching staff.”
Rojas is confident that the organization has enough guys to fill Cano’s shoes as a leader. Specifically, he named guys like Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith and Brandon Nimmo on the offensive side and Jacob deGrom on the pitching side.
When asked what was said in his conversation with Cano, Rojas wouldn’t go into specifics.
“There was no questioning,” he said. “It was more supportive than anything.”
More Player News
Luis Rojas was asked what his plans were for Mets shortstop Amed Rosario next season. In essence, the team plans to expand Rosario’s versatility and expect him to take some reps at third base.
There is no plan, however, to put Rosario in the outfield. “That’s something he’s not doing and we’re not planning on doing right now with him,” Rojas said.
As for Noah Syndergaard, Rojas offered an update on the righty flamethrower but not much detail. “He’s on schedule or a little bit ahead of schedule,” he said.
Syndergaard was placed on the 60-day Injured List at the end of June. He underwent Tommy John Surgery soon thereafter. He is not expected to return until around the 2021 All-Star break.
Finally, Rojas offered an update on Edwin Diaz.
“Edwin Diaz is in Puerto Rico working hard, like he always does,” he said. “He’s a really dedicated man who takes really good care of his body and continues to get better.”
As far as what Diaz’s role will be with the organization this coming season, Rojas really can’t say.
“What I can tell you is that Edwin will be a candidate to close games next season,” Rojas said. “He’ll also come in to stop the bleeding if needed.”
The Mets finished with a sub-500 record for the third time in four season in 2020. They’re looking to bounce back and return to the postseason for the first time since 2016.
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