The New York Yankees are looking to do more than add elite players to their team. They hired a new coach. Former Mets manager Luis Rojas is now the Yankees’ third base coach. What does Rojas bring to the table?
Rojas’ Beginnings and Managerial Experience
According to Howie Kussoy of nypost.com, Rojas was signed by the Baltimore Orioles as a third baseman in 1999. He made approximately $300,000 with the O’s, but he got hurt and had shoulder issues. Rojas never got the opportunity to play in the big leagues. According to Rojas’ father Felipe Alou, the injuries were what caused his son’s baseball playing career to end short. He then entered into the Florida Marlins system (known now as the Miami Marlins), only to be sent to the Montreal Expos, which changed to the Washington Nationals in 2005.
For those who remember, Felipe Alou played 17 seasons in the Majors. This included being on teams such as the San Francisco Giants, the Milwaukee Braves (also known as the Atlanta Braves), the Yankees and several others.
Rojas started coaching with the Mets’ Dominican Summer league team. He began instructing teenagers and was later promoted to Port St. Lucie in 2008, eventually earning him his first managing job with the Gulf Coast League Mets in 2011. For the next three years, Rojas was at Single-A Savannah, where he ended their 17-year drought. Rojas was then sent to AA Binghamton for two years capturing a title here as well.
In 2020, Rojas become the Mets skipper where he has a 103-119 record (.464). This past season, the Mets finished third in the NL East with a record of 77-85. No replacement was named after the Mets declined Rojas’ 2022 option in early October. Rojas will be replacing Phil Nevin, the former Yankees third base coach, whose contract was not renewed.
Rojas’ Experience and Yankees’ Controversial Calls
Although Rojas has no MLB playing experience, what he doesn’t lack is managerial experience. He has spent the last 16 years with the Mets organization. This can bring some positivity to the Yankees as well. There were a few times where there were controversial calls made by Nevin, some possibly costing the Yankees the game.
One of the controversial calls came during the Wild Card game against the Boston Red Sox. Greg Joyce of nypost.com points out that the Yankees may have been hinting at a comeback during the Wild Card game against the Boston Red Sox on October 5, 2021. Aaron Judge got an infield single. Giancarlo Stanton hit the ball off of the Green Monster in left-center field. Judge took off, got waved on by Nevin, but ultimately got tagged out at home plate for the second out of the sixth inning. This play could have turned the game around.
Of course, it is highly possible that the Yankees may not have scored at all. Yankee fans may look at this as a horrible call on Nevin’s part, blaming him for the Yankees loss that led to another year without a World Series. This is why Rojas may be a breath of fresh air.
Who knows what is going to happen when it comes to who the Yankees are going to get with the positions they need to fill. The Yankees can look at Rojas and hopefully forget about any bad calls made. After all, what else can go wrong?
Featured Image Courtesy of Ebenezer Robbins of techgamingreport.com
Stats Courtesy of baseball-reference.com
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