New Mets manager Luis Rojas sat down for his first spring training press conference on Tuesday, and touched on a multitude of topics as he begins to lead this squad into the new season.
Here are a few answers from Rojas that stood out...
On the Syndergaard-Ramos connection
It was reported last season that Noah Syndergaard was uncomfortable pitching to Wilson Ramos, who signed a two-year deal with the club to be their starting catcher. He preferred Tomas Nido, and now that one of his favorites in Rene Rivera is back with the Mets, Syndergaard might want to throw to him exclusively.
But Rojas said that they will certainly be working on better chemistry in spring training.
"They're great teammates and they get along so great," he said. "I happened to be around them yesterday and they're going to work together. They're gonna work in collaboration."
Rojas added that Ramos knows "he's got the homework for himself," with Rick Porcello, Michael Wacha, and Dellin Betances on the pitching staff, too. But getting more comfortable with Syndergaard, the Mets' No. 2 behind Jacob deGrom, is a priority.
On Yoenis Cespedes' expectations
One of the bigger stories at Mets camp is what exactly the team expects to get out of the veteran outfielder. Leading up to the start of spring training, videos have surfaced of him running and hitting after missing all of last year due to his ankle injury. But do the Mets truly believe he can be an impact player for them this season?
Rojas didn't get into all of that, but he did clarify that no timeline has been given for Cespedes at the moment. The Mets will continue to monitor his progress, and take things day-by-day.
"We don't have a timeline. He's running, he's hitting. I've had conversations with him, but I don't have a timeline yet," Rojas said. "The performance staff is working on his progression and we're going from there."
The best part? Rojas made sure to say that once the timeline was set, he would share it with the media. Definitely a good bite to throw in there.
On Diaz and Familia coming into camp feeling confident
Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia were seen walking into their workouts together, and they were all smiles. They should be after the work they put in this offseason to prepare themselves for hopefully what turns into bounce-back seasons.
Diaz worked on his mechanics, sent videos to Pedro Martinez for help, and is confident his electric stuff will be more effective this season. Rojas acknowledged that, and has noticed the confidence brimming from his young prospective closer as well.
"Diaz did such a great job in the offseason and I happened to see him in the offseason and all the work that he put in," Rojas said. "You guys will see how enthusiastic he is about the results he got from that."
Familia lost 30 pounds and feels like he'll be back to his normal self on the rubber. When Rojas saw him, he couldn't believe his eyes. But he loved what he saw.
"The impression of seeing him the first time is just unbelievable. You gotta compliment what he did," he said.
On giving a first-workout speech
Pitchers and catchers will have their first official workout on Wednesday, and you can bet Rojas will be giving a speech. Just not the one he'll be preaching to the entire team at the first full session next week.
"Definitely," he said about the speech. "We're always going to have talks. Tomorrow's a big day -- the biggest talk is when the whole squad is in the facility. That's when we're going to talk as a whole as an organization, but tomorrow having the pitchers and catchers and having all our coaches here, we're also going to talk about setting the tone, breaking ground, and about the new facility."
On his team contending for a World Series
The Mets are a win-now team. That's the way they're built, and no one recognizes that more than Rojas who made sure to compliment every facet of his roster.
And he expects this team to be a postseason contender that, by October, will still be playing baseball.
"We expect to be a contender," he said. "We know how all the teams are prepared. We're going to be in a tough division and we're going to face some tough teams this year in our schedule and we know that. We feel that we're built to win."
He added: "It's a team that's built to win."