PORT ST. LUCIE – Luis Rojas & # 39; first meeting with the Mets on Monday included a hand gesture on how many players had previously played in the small leagues for the new manager.
"I think it was about three quarters of the room," said Dellin Betances.
Rojas, who had spent eight seasons in the Mets' small leagues before being appointed team quality control coach last year, brought energy to the clubhouse with his comments, according to Wilson Ramos. The rookie manager spoke to the 63 players in the camp and about 50 Mets officials, including team owner Fred Wilpon.
Though 38-year-old Rojas was spoken and measured quietly in his press conferences, he was a manager for his players.
"He talks like he's the manager, like he's commanding everyone here, so I like that," said Ramos. “He was quiet last year, but I like the new Luis. He tried to give us some confidence, that's very important to us. He knows everyone here, a lot of people respect him, that's very cool. "
Roja's first comments on the entire squad came after a turbulent off-season for the Mets, in which two managers – Mickey Callaway and Carlos Beltran – left the organization. Callaway was released and Beltran separated from the Mets after only 77 days because he was involved in the Astros' illegal shield theft program.
In his remarks, Rojas mentioned the experience of the World Series in space and players like Jacob deGrom and Rick Porcello who won the Cy Young Awards.
"I remember that this team played very well in the second half," said Betances, who arrived as a free agent with the Yankees. "So just keep doing what we did as a group last year, what you did, and add this year."
Rojas had contacted the pitchers and catchers before their first training session last week.
"But being there with the entire squad was a very special moment to voice a message there and talk about different things the team knows, how we know each other and our values as a team," said Rojas. “We talked a lot about communication, trust and accountability, whatever the things I address as our values, and we talked about preparation and talent and how we did spring training throughout the season and at the top It will always be a lot of fun to motivate each other. "