Baseball is in the blood of new New York Mets manager Luis Rojas as he gets ready to take over the team following an unusual offseason. With original offseason hire Carlos Beltran hired and fired in less than three months, Rojas has stepped in and is looking forward to continuing in the family business and build upon the legacy of his famous father.
The Mets’ rocky offseason
The Mets began the offseason by firing two-year manager Mickey Callaway. By November 1, they had a replacement in the form of former MLB All-Star Carlos Beltran. Beltran, who was only two years removed from his playing career, was looking to bring a new and unique perspective to the struggling Mets, and fans embraced his return to the franchise that he once called home.
All of that changed during the cheating scandal that took over the league, however. After investigations showed that the 2017 Houston Astros, with whom Beltran was a player, had participated in an elaborate sign-stealing scheme while Beltran was still playing, he ended up being the only player who was explicitly named in the report. Looking to stay out of the negative headlines, the Astros and Beltran mutually decided to move in another direction before Beltran ever had a chance to manage a game.
With an unusual January coaching search underway, the team eventually settled on Luis Rojas. While Rojas was not hired in the typical situation that a manager might be hired, he has shown that he is ready to don the hat and lead the Mets back to prominence.
Who is Luis Rojas?
Rojas has been involved in baseball for his entire life, although he does not have the same professional roots that his father, Felipe Alou, nor his half-brother, Moises, have. While those two spent many years as professional baseball players, Rojas got bit by the coaching bug early, and at 25 years old, he began to coach for the Dominican Summer League Mets. That began a relationship with the franchise that remains until today.
Luis Rojas worked in a variety of coaching jobs in the Dominican Republic until finally getting called up to the big leagues as a part of Callaway’s staff in 2019. Rojas served as the team’s quality control coach, meaning he had a lot to do with players’ day-to-day activities like warmups and side sessions. It is a peculiar path for a manager to take, but it isn’t entirely out of the left field.
Through both his father and through other league connections, Rojas has been working toward his goal for many years, and while the path might have been a strange one, he has some good testimonies behind him.
Who has high praise for Luis Rojas?
Rojas has at least one fan, and it is a great one to have. Recently retired San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy has known Rojas’ father for over four decades. When Bochy succeeded Alou in San Francisco, Alou remained with the team as an advisor. That gave Bochy a chance to know his family.
“I’ve gotten to know Luis through Felipe, and you can just see his passion for the game, he’s got a great way about him,” Bochy said to The New York Post. “He’s smart. He’s done a lot of things in baseball. He speaks well and I think he is going to be able to communicate with anybody, and that is a special Alou quality. He gets that from his dad.”
Bochy would go on to speak about how much Rojas’ father meant to him as a player and a manager, and how he thinks that it will rub off on his son.
Baseball has been a part of Rojas’ life since he was just a child. Now, with a famous family, a future Hall of Fame manager, and a team behind him, it is time for him to show what he has as a manager. If he can succeed, he will have a large group of people rooting him on every step of the way.