NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24: Luis Rojas, the new manager of the New York Mets walks onto the field with his son Luis Felipe, after his introductory press conference at Citi Field on January 24, 2020 in New York City.
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Newly-appointed manager Luis Rojas expects the New York Mets to be contenders this year after missing out on the playoffs in 2019.

Last season, the New York Mets missed out on October baseball for the third consecutive campaign. Nonetheless, they improved mightily as the year progressed. The ballclub finished 86-76 and in third place in the National League East, a huge jump from when they were 11 games under-.500 at one point in July.

But “no postseason” means “no postseason,” and the Mets are looking to conclude that trend in 2020. They’ll be doing so with a new manager in Luis Rojas, who the organization appointed after the stepping down of Carlos Beltrán.

Rojas set the standards high at his inaugural spring training press conference on Tuesday.

“We expect to be a contender,” Rojas said, per Bill Whitehead of the Associated Press. “We know how all the teams are. We’re going to be in a tough division and play some tough teams on our schedule. We have a great roster, great position players with versatility, great starting rotation or pitchers that have a history of Cy Youngs and World Series winners. And our bullpen has a history of saving games and being closers.”

Baseball Prospectus recently released its yearly PECOTA projections and had the Mets winning the NL East with nearly 88 total victories. They additionally have New York possessing a 75% chance to finally make it back to the playoffs.

With talent in the lineup and rotation, it’ll be interesting to witness what this ballclub could do. The bullpen is one of the only concerns heading into the new season. Last year, the Mets relievers ranked 25th in the majors with a combined 4.95 ERA.

The team’s first full-squad spring training workout will occur on Feb. 17. Their spring training schedule will then commence on Feb. 22 with split-squad games against the Cardinals and Marlins at 1:05 p.m. ET and 1:10 p.m. ET, respectively.

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