Luis Rojas is out as manager of the New York Mets, the team said in a statement on Monday. New York declined to pick up Rojas’ option for 2022 and hinted at other possible coaching changes. The move comes a day after the Mets wrapped up a disappointing 2021 campaign. After spending 103 days leading the National League East, New York plummeted in the final two months to finish in third at 77-85. According to Joel Sherman’s recent column in the New York Post, that is the most days a team has spent in first place only to finish with a losing record. The Mets offered Rojas an opportunity to remain with the club in a “yet to be determined capacity.”
Luis Rojas Out–What Went Wrong?
With Rojas gone, the Mets will begin yet another managerial search. They will now have had three managers in a five-year span. Rojas and Mickey Callaway lasted two seasons each after Terry Collins retired in 2017. Moving on from Rojas is a clear signal from owner Steve Cohen that the Mets fell short of expectations this season. Many pundits thought the NL East would be the toughest division in MLB entering the season. Instead, it was by far the weakest, as the Atlanta Braves won the division with only 88 victories. In fact, only New York and the Philadelphia Phillies finished above .500. The Mets were ultimately unable to take advantage of other teams’ subpar play despite leading the division for months.
Despite issues that were out of his control, such as injuries and the dormant offense, Rojas evidently became the scapegoat for the team’s precipitous decline. The Mets fought through an injury bug early in the season to remain atop the division. The supporting cast from Triple-A kept them afloat. After Jacob deGrom went down, however, the team failed to bounce back. Taijuan Walker’s performance dropped off sharply in the second half, and even when they got good pitching performances, the bats failed to pick them up. The collective malaise following the relatively strong start likely spelled doom for Rojas. It often seemed that the Mets were playing uninspired baseball as a once-promising season came crashing down. Whomever the next Mets’ manager is, they will have to do a better job maintaining strong team chemistry and fighting through adversity. Otherwise, they will likely have a short leash.
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