Luis Rojas’ two-year run as Mets manager ended when his option wasn’t picked up following the season.
After dealing with a tumultuous couple of seasons, under new ownership, uncertainty in the front office, as well as the impact of dealing with COVID protocols, Rojas — the Yankees new third-base coach — said he has no regrets about his time in Queens.
“For me, it was a learning experience,’’ Rojas said during a Zoom call. “I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
He added there was no discussion of his future before the end of the regular season, when Rojas was informed he wouldn’t be invited back as manager, but could have another role within the organization.
“It’s always tough when you hear you’re not gonna do something you’ve been doing for a couple years,’’ Rojas said. “Changes sometimes surprise you, but changes are good things a lot of times.”
The Yankees hope it is for them, as they will have Rojas coaching third base, as well as the outfielders.
It unites Rojas with Aaron Boone, with Rojas saying Boone was the first manager to reach out to him when he got the Mets managerial job.
Rojas said he had “no second thought” about taking a job in The Bronx after his time with the Mets, and Boone believes Rojas will bring a lot to a revamped staff, which will also include a new hitting coach and first-base coach — a process Boone said he hoped would be resolved in the next few weeks.
“All of our group fell in love with him,’’ Boone said of Rojas. “He brings a lot of experience.”
Rojas noted that his father, former manager Felipe Alou, played three years for the Yankees and his uncle, Matty, also played a season in The Bronx, “so there’s family history here.”
More importantly, Alou has experience coaching third base, as a manager in the minors, as well as in winter ball.
And he’s preparing to start watching video to “not be reactive and anticipate what’s gonna happen.”
Phil Nevin was let go as third-base coach after the season, but said he was told the move was not made because of on-field performance.
Still, Boone said he values Rojas’ experience, both as a manager and as a third-base coach.
“He’s very intelligent,’’ Boone said. “He understands the importance of relationships with players and the connection with the front office and analytics. … We feel we added a well-rounded baseball person.”
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