In the past 20 years, the New York Mets have had their fair share of managers. From Bobby Valentine to Terry Collins to Luis Rojas, the Mets have underachieved for the most part. Whether they have failed to produce in big late-season games, or simply underperforming, the Mets have been looking for a permanent manager.
After the 2019 season, the Mets fired manager Mickey Callaway. He was fired due to poor decision making and control of the team over two years.
Later in the offseason, New York had multiple managers that they could have hired. From Buck Showalter to Carlos Beltran, there were several quality options. On November 1, 2019, the Mets hired former Yankee and Astro Carlos Beltran to become their next manager. However, in January of 2020, disaster struck. Due to his involvement in the 2017 Houston Astros cheating scandal, Beltran resigned and the search for a new manager continued.
The Hiring of Luis Rojas
While the team could have hired Terry Collins or Eduardo Perez, they took a different route and hired Luis Rojas, who knew some players from the minors. In 2019, the Mets then named Rojas their quality control coach for the year.
On January 22, 2020, Rojas was officially named the Mets manager.
Questionable Decision Making in Year One
Even though many rookie managers exhibit early flaws, Rojas’s decision-making was extremely poor at times. For example, he handled some late-game decisions poorly. Whether he overused a pitcher or didn’t start a star player in an important game, there is much improvement for him to make in 2021.
During the course of the season, he gave starts to Robert Gsellman and Walker Lockett rather than Seth Lugo, who was clearly pitching better throughout the year. The first-year manager also misused reliever Justin Wilson by using him four times in six days. That is far too much for any pitcher. Additionally, early in the season, he took center fielder Brandon Nimmo out of the leadoff spot despite high production.
The question remains. Is Luis Rojas the long-term manager for this team moving forward?
Why Rojas SHOULD be the long term manager for the Mets
There are many reasons why I believe Luis Rojas has a future in New York. For example, his connection with teammates and other coaches is great. He is well-liked within the ballclub, and he has experience with some players as he managed in the minor leagues.
This past season was a season that nobody could have expected due to the coronavirus. Whether games were postponed to a positive test or having no fans in attendance, the 2020 season will never be forgotten. I think with a more normal season looming in 2021, Rojas will have a better feeling of how to manage a game.
Why Rojas SHOULD NOT be the longterm manager for the Mets
Even with all the uncertainties of the 2020 MLB season, there are questions regarding Rojas’s future in New York. Will he stay past 2021? Will he be fired during the season if the team disappoints again?
With an arguably top five roster in the league, New York still massively disappointed in the first season of his tenure as manager. The team finished 26-34, tied for last with the Nationals in the NL East. Even though players must be held accountable, it is a manager’s job to keep the team together and to play well. Rojas simply didn’t do that.
Around the Mets fanbase, there are mixed emotions in regard to keeping Rojas in the long run. However, I think the team should keep Rojas for a year more at a minimum in order to evaluate him over a full 162 games.