Luis Rojas Says Mets ‘Expect Great Things’ From Robbie Cano

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By WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

The Mets had an unconventional offseason which saw them fire and hire two managers, but with spring training underway and the regular season set to start in less than a month, Luis Rojas is ready to lead the club.One of the biggest questions surrounding the Mets this offseason is the status of Yoenis Cespedes.  “He’s a guy that’s very competitive,” the new Mets manager said during an interview Friday with WFAN's Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts from spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida. “He’s got that demeaner, he sets a goal and goes after it, he’s working really hard with the performance staff right now as far as progressively getting better. We’ll have to see and monitor how things go on a daily basis”

While Cespedes has impressed in the batter’s box, the concern is his ability to run the bases and cover distance in the outfield. But according to Rojas, the 34-year old is putting in the time and effort to get back on the field for the first time since 2018.

“I’m here everyday around 5:30-6:00 in the morning and he shows up right behind me,” Rojas told Benigno and Roberts, also noting the outfielder lost about 10 pounds since the start of spring training.Asked by Roberts when Yoenis would need to play in spring training games to be ready for the regular season, he wouldn’t offer a timeline, continuing to say they’ll just take it day by day.One of the Mets biggest deficiencies in 2019 was their bullpen. Hoping for a bounce back year from Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia, along with adding Dellin Betances, Rojas likes the fact that his pen has multiple pitchers with closing experience. Still, Rojas told Benigno and Roberts he plans on defining roles for his relievers. “I want to have that communication with them so they know when to start being mentally engaged in the game.”

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A new wrinkle for managers during the 2020 MLB season is the three batter rule for relief pitchers. Roberts asked if that will alter the way Rojas constructs his lineup. “We’re going to make the lineup to face the starter, that’s the guy that they’re going to see probably two or three times through the lineup and that’s one of the strategies you think of as the manager,” Rojas said.Another hole on the Mets in 2019 was Robinson Cano. Brought in with Edwin Diaz as one of Brodie Van Wagenen’s signature moves a year ago, Cano failed to live up to expectations. “He’s a star and he’s worked so hard in the offseason physically with his swing,” Rojas said of Cano who he’s built a good relationship with. “We expect great things from Robbie, he’s gonna contribute a lot offensively for us.”Rojas also noted the positive impact Cano has on the clubhouse. “He’s a big influence to the young guys, but also a big influence to the veteran guys, from the coaching staff perspective, he’s a guy that brings so much to the table, he’s a team leader on the field defensively, and when he’s at the plate you always expect Robbie to do something great.”Roberts asked Rojas for a preview, having never managed in the majors, what type of manager can fans expect him to be?“You’re the kind of manager that your product is,” Rojas said. “We have young talent, we have energy and we can run. We’re going to be aggressive on the bases and we’re also gonna be aggressive with our bullpen.”Click the audio player above to hear the full interview with Mets manager Luis Rojas