Luis Rojas
Rojas with the New York Mets in 2020
New York Yankees
Coach
Born: (1981-09-01) September 1, 1981 (age 40)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Career statistics
Managerial record103–119
Winning %.464
Teams
As coach

As manager

Luis E. Rojas[1] (born September 1, 1981) is a Dominican professional baseball coach and manager. After coaching for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB) in 2019, he managed the Mets from 2020 to 2021. Rojas joined the New York Yankees as a coach after the 2021 season. He is the son of Felipe Alou, a former MLB player and manager.

Playing career

Rojas grew up shagging fly balls, taking batting practice and running bases in Montreal as his father, Felipe Alou, managed the Montreal Expos. After graduating from a Catholic high school, Rojas was signed in 1999 as a third baseman by the Baltimore Orioles for $300,000. He spent time in the Miami Marlins’ system and then the Montreal Expos’/Washington Nationals’ system. He spent the 2004 season as an infielder/outfielder with the Gulf Coast League Expos of minor league baseball. “Luis had talent," said his father, Felipe Alou. "He was a good-looking prospect, but he got hurt and had shoulder problems and he was never the player they thought he was gonna be."[2]

Coaching career

Early coaching career

Rojas began his coaching career with the Dominican Summer League Nationals in 2006. The New York Mets hired him as a coach for the Dominican Summer League Mets in 2007 and for the Gulf Coast League Mets in 2008. He became a coach for the Savannah Sand Gnats in 2010 but transferred back to manage the Gulf Coast League Mets in 2011. On his return to Savannah from 2012 through 2014, Rojas won the 2013 South Atlantic League championship and was named Manager of the Year the following season.[3] Afterwards, Rojas became the manager for the St. Lucie Mets and led them to the top of their division.[4][5]

Rojas managed in the Dominican Professional Baseball League team Leones del Escogido. He led the team to a league championship in the following 2015–16 season.[6][7] Rojas managed the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in 2017 and 2018.[8] The Mets named him to their major league coaching staff as the quality control coach for the 2019 season.[9] It was a newly created position to keep him from leaping to another team.

New York Mets manager

Rojas was promoted to manager by Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen on January 22, 2020, after the Mets mutually parted ways with Carlos Beltrán due to his involvement in the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal.[10] In his first year as manager, the Mets finished the regular season 26–34, tied for last place in their division.[11] Van Wagenen lost his job at the end of the Covid-19-shortened season and was replaced by Sandy Alderson, who had a long relationship with Rojas and kept him on.[12]

On April 20, 2021, Rojas was ejected from a game for the first time in his Major League career after arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire John Libka.[13] On July 18, Rojas was ejected and subsequently suspended for two games by Major League Baseball for "excessive arguing" over a fair-foul call in the first inning of a game at PNC Park. It was the first time in his career that he had been suspended at any level of baseball.[14]

The Mets declined the option on Rojas's contract on October 4, 2021, after concluding the season with a record of 77–85.[15][16] The Mets were the first team in major league history to sit atop a division for more than 100 days in a season and finish with a losing record.[17]

New York Yankees

On November 15, 2021, the New York Yankees hired Rojas as their third base coach.[18]

Managerial record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NYM 2020 60 26 34 .433 4th in NL East
NYM 2021 162 77 85 .475 3rd in NL East
Total 222 103 119 .464

Personal life

Rojas is the son of former professional baseball player and manager Felipe Alou, as well as the half-brother of former outfielder Moisés Alou.[19][6] Rojas is the ninth of 11 children Alou had via four marriages. Rojas' mother is Elsa Brens, Alou's third wife, a secretary for owners of the Dominican summer league. When Rojas was 3, his parents divorced.[20]

In June, 2021, he said: “Oh man, my father's been my university of life, not only of baseball. He's taught me a lot of things about baseball and life. He taught me how to be a good son. He taught me how to be a good father. He taught me how to be a good baseball man."[20] The reason Luis and Felipe have different surnames is that when the San Francisco Giants' scout registered Felipe Rojas Alou's name, he used Felipe's mother's name, Rojas, instead of his father's, Alou.[21]

Rojas and his wife, Laura, have one son, Luis Felipe.[20]

He has been described as a "deeply religious, workout-obsessed, wine-sipping, dominoes-playing, baseball lifer."[2]

References

  1. ^ "Luis Rojas Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Kussoy, Howie (January 25, 2020). "Mets' Luis Rojas earning place in family dynasty: 'Had to be a manager'". New York Post. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  3. ^ "Get To Know Luis Rojas". New York Mets. January 24, 2020. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  4. ^ "Luis Rojas announced as new manager of the St. Lucie Mets Mets". St. Lucie Mets. Milb.com. January 23, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "2016 Florida State League". Baseball Reference. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Alonso, Nathalie (July 2, 2019). "Everything you need to know about Luis Rojas". MLB.com. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  7. ^ "Gerencia del Escogido ratifica a Luis Rojas como dirigente". Atajo Noticioso. May 26, 2015. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  8. ^ "Luis Rojas returns to manage Rumble Ponies". Pressconnects.com. January 5, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  9. ^ Healey, Tim (December 9, 2018). "Mets name Chili Davis hitting coach, Chuck Hernandez bullpen coach, Luis Rojas quality control coach". Newsday. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  10. ^ DiComo, Anthony (January 22, 2020). "Mets hire 'respected' Rojas as new manager". MLB.com. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  11. ^ "Mets vs. Nationals odds, line: 2021 MLB Opening Day picks, predictions from proven computer model". CBS Sports. April 1, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  12. ^ Puma, Mike (October 4, 2021). "Mets aren't bringing Luis Rojas back as manager". New York Post. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  13. ^ Puma, Mike (April 21, 2021). "Taijuan Walker, Luis Rojas booted from ugly Mets loss". New York Post. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  14. ^ Roberson, Matthew (July 19, 2021). "MLB suspends Luis Rojas 2 games for 'excessive arguing' with umpires". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  15. ^ DiComo, Anthony; Simon, Andrew (October 4, 2021). "Rojas will not manage Mets in 2022". MLB.com. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  16. ^ "New York Mets move on from manager Luis Rojas after third-place finish in NL East". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 4, 2021. Retrieved October 5, 2021.
  17. ^ DiComo, Anthony. "Rojas will not manage Mets in 2022". MLB.com. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  18. ^ "Yankees name former Mets manager Luis Rojas as their new third base coach". The Athletic. November 15, 2021.
  19. ^ Heath, Donald (April 4, 2012). "Gnats manager Rojas following in family footsteps". Savannah Morning News.
  20. ^ a b c Botte, Peter (June 20, 2021). "Mets' Luis Rojas reflects on greatest lesson from father Felipe Alou". New York Post. Retrieved October 4, 2021.
  21. ^ Gomez, Manny (January 28, 2020). "New York Mets: how Luis Rojas fits in the Alou family dynasty". Call to the Pen. Retrieved October 4, 2021.