Ed Coleman's Notes From Spring: Rojas' Winning Outlook & Recipe For Success

Ed Coleman
February 11, 2020 - 3:44 pm

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (WCBS 880) — New Mets manager Luis Rojas officially met the New York media on Tuesday morning to open spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  

Rojas spoke mainly in generalities about fundamentals, position player battles and how six starting pitchers will go into five before Opening Day rolls around on March 26.  

But he wants this team to have an identity, and he believes they're already well on their way to establishing one.  

"Our identity is going to be playing the game clean, to be aggressive but also under control, and to make game decisions that are going to lead to wins. That's the identity that we're going to preach throughout - winning baseball," Rojas said.

Rojas has three tenets that he has always held fast to whether he be managing, coaching or being a conduit like he was last season between the front office and the players as a quality control coach.

"The number one thing for me is communication. The second thing is trust. And the third is accountability," Rojas said. "I know if we hit those three on the nose, and the guys already know me pretty well, I think that's going to lead to having conversation and them being accountable for any actions that happen out there. I know that emotions can get in the way but we're all going to be held accountable. I'm extremely confident that that's a communication we're going to have if something doesn't go the way we want. It's a family. We get along great and we have a line of communication open already so I think it shouldn't be a problem."

Related: WCBS 880's 2020 Mets Spring Training Broadcast Schedule

Michael Conforto thinks that Rojas has another thing going for him that people may underestimate or overlook.  

"Luis was one of my first coaches coming into this organization," Conforto said. "He's been with almost all the guys who are homegrown as Mets. It's going to be a game changer, just knowing him as a person, what his messages have been through the minor leagues. He's always been a team first guy, fundamental guy, play the game hard in the right way guy. Top to bottom, we all respect him, we've all loved him as a coach. He came up with us, he kind of grinded it out with us in the minors, and now he's here with us. That's a pretty cool thing."

And why is Rojas so confident in this group of Mets which now faces a tough N.L. East in order to make the 2020 playoffs? He pointed to the second half surge in 2019 and the reasons behind it.

"I think we learned a lot as far as team preparation and I think it will carry over. Just connecting with the guys and talking in the offseason, you can see that they're carrying it over. The attitude. The bonding in the clubhouse. These guys, they got ready physically, now it's our job to prepare them as a team, and get them ready to start the season that way," Rojas said.

Optimism abounds.  

Pitchers & catchers first official workout comes Wednesday morning at Clover Field.