Former Mets manager Luis Rojas interviews for Padres job

Credit: NY Daily News

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Credit: USA Today Sports

The San Diego Padres interviewed former New York Mets skipper Luis Rojas for their managerial opening in a relatively surprising move.

The Mets declined Rojas’ contract option after they, like the Padres, collapsed in the final two months and missed the postseason. Rojas managed the Mets for the previous two seasons, going 103-119 and failing to crash the postseason in either campaign. 

Rojas’ Mets mirrored the Padres in many ways, as they led the NL East for 114 days, and by as many as 5.5 games, but eventually finished 11.5 games back of the NL pennant-winning Atlanta Braves. The Mets won just 36% of their games in the final two months of the season, despite adding Javy Baez and Trevor Williams at the trade deadline. 

Luis Rojas is one of the only MLB managers who managed without playing at the major league level, though he did grow up around baseball.

His father, Felipe Alou, managed the Montreal Expos for ten seasons, and Rojas reportedly ran the bases and took batting practice with the team. He started his coaching career in the Dominican Summer League, managing the DSL Nationals in 2006. He then managed the DSL Mets and the Gulf Coast Mets over the next two seasons before moving into minor league baseball with the Savannah Sand Gnats.

In 2013, the Sand Gnats won the South Atlantic Gulf League title, and he won the manager of the year in the same campaign. He then left the Mets system, managing in the Dominican Professional League, winning the league title with Leones del Escogido. He returned to the Mets organization, managing their Double-A affiliate Binghamton Rumble Ponies for two seasons.

He finally moved to the major league team in 2019, becoming the quality control coach. After the Mets failed to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season, Rojas was promoted to the managerial position, inheriting a team that won 85 games the year before. However, the success that followed Rojas through his first 13 years as a coach didn’t continue, as he posted losing seasons in both 2020 and 2021. 

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Rojas certainly isn’t one the most enticing candidates on paper, though the Padres giving the 40-year-old an interview means that he has a shot at the Padres job.

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