The New York Mets hired Kuis Rojas to replace the embattled Carlos Beltran as their manager on Wednesday, an under-the-radar move if there ever was one.
But is it really?
Rojas is from a famous baseball family – the Alous. His father is long-time MLB player and manager Felipe Alou and former Met and six-time All-Star Moises Alou is Rojas’ half-brother.
Rojas has been coaching and managing in the Mets organization on minor league level since 2007 and knows the in ins and outs of the orange and blue better than just about everyone.
“He has literally trained his whole life to be a manager,” Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “He comes from a legacy family. … He is respected by the players. He is trusted by the players. And he’s someone that we have great confidence in, [with] his ability to lead our team now.”
“He’s someone that the organization knew extremely well, and he’s someone that the players knew extremely well,” Van Wagenen said. “When it came to this unfortunate circumstance, we didn’t want to change the values that we outlined for ourselves in the initial process. We wanted to continue the momentum that we have with the work that’s been done in preparation for Spring Training, and we felt like Luis was in a position to be a leader of that group.”
Rojas, who missed out on the managerial job last year to Beltran, has managed many of the current young Mets on the major league roster early on in their careers and has kept up with their progress in Flushing. One of those players is first baseman Pete Alonso.
Loved having Luis in ‘17 and ‘18 as my AA manager! It’s awesome playing under him and having him on staff last year as well!!! Super pumped to have him as the Jeffe. Also he throws some damn good bp #LFGM https://t.co/SI8JgLzRId
— Pete Alonso (@Pete_Alonso20) January 22, 2020
Rojas may not be a household name but is well-known in baseball circles, which is what really counts anyway. Bruce Bochy, who managed the San Francisco Giants to three World Series is a big Rojas booster.
Bochy is longtime friends with Rojas’ father, Felipe Alou, who managed 14 years in the majors, including four years with the Giants, and was around Bochy’s Giants as an adviser to the team. Bochy followed Alou as manager of the Giants in 2007. The two men go all the way back to 1977 and the Florida State League.
“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 told The Post Wednesday from San Diego. “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.’’
This move could be a blessing in disguise. The Mets are about to rebound from one of their most embarrassing faux pas in years (and that’s saying something) by not vetting Carlos Beltran properly. They don’t need to vet Rojas. hey know what they have in him.