Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Mets manager Luis Rojas has been in Port St. Lucie since last week getting ready for his first season at the helm.
On Tuesday, Rojas will meet the media for the first time at spring training during what will be his first non-pomp and circumstance press conference as Mets manager.
Here are five questions he should be asked...
How does Yoenis Cespedes look?
Cespedes has been on the field in Florida since January, was recently declared good to go offensively by GM Brodie Van Wagenen, and has arrived at camp early. So how does he look? And what's the plan?
The Mets have artfully danced around the Cespedes expectations a bit, and Rojas might do so again on Tuesday. But it's fair to expect a plan -- even if it's preliminary -- to be laid out.
Van Wagenen said over the weekend that Cespedes could get reps at first base at spring training. Is that set in stone? And is there a timetable for when Cespedes might get reps in the outfield?
Do you expect J.D. Davis to be the starting left fielder?
It's expected that Davis will be the Mets' left fielder, but it hasn't been declared. With the presence of defensive-minded Jake Marisnick on the roster and no other elite defenders expected to be in the starting lineup, is there a chance that he could cut into Davis' playing time with Brandon Nimmo shifting to left field some days?
What kind of camp do you plan to run?
Every manager has a unique style, as the Mets have experienced the last three years with Terry Collins and Mickey Callaway. With Rojas taking over, it will be interesting to see how camp is run under his tutelage. What will the mood be? Will he very slowly ease his most important pitchers in, as Callaway did? Will there be team-bonding events?
Rojas is viewed by the players as someone who is soft-spoken, friendly, and direct. Will his demeanor change at all now that he's in the big chair? And if so, will that start as early as Tuesday?
Have you mapped out your starting pitching plan?
The Mets kick off their spring training schedule on Feb. 22, when they play split squad games against the Cardinals and Marlins. Between then and Opening Day, they'll be building their starting pitchers up gradually while getting them on schedule (for example, Jacob deGrom will be put on track to start Opening Day on March 26).
What is the plan for the starting pitchers -- especially deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha -- early on? Will they get right into the swing of things or be held back until the second week of camp?
When it comes to Wacha, will he work as a starting pitcher only, or will the team also be preparing him for a potential relief role?
What is your message to the team as the 2020 season begins?
The Mets are expected to take a step forward this season, turning their 86-win 2019 into a playoff appearance (and more) in 2020.
That will be a tall task in a loaded NL East that is arguably the best division in baseball. The Braves are again very formidable, the Nats are the defending World Series champs, and the Phillies have added some key pieces to a team that finished a few games behind the Mets last season. Even the Marlins have improved a bit.
So what will Rojas' message to the team be? Once position players report, will he be giving an official address or something more laid back?