New York Mets utility player Jeff McNeil talks the Luis Rojas managerial hire and the loss of Noah Syndergaard to Tommy John surgery.
At the moment, New York Mets fans truly don’t know the next time they’ll be able to see their team take the field. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the sports world to go dark, and some believe the MLB season won’t begin until June or July.
But in spite of that, there have been numerous big stories involving the organization these past few months, including the managerial hire of Luis Rojas. Previously the ballclub’s quality control coach, Rojas will attempt to lead this team back to the postseason for the first time since 2016.
Rojas has never managed in the major leagues, but regardless of that, the move intrigues numerous players such as the young 2019 All-Star Jeff McNeil.
“Everyone was super excited for the hire,” McNeil told Steve Phillips and C.J. Nitkowski of SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio, per Danny Abriano of SNY. “We all love Luis, he’s been in the organization a long time, spent 14 years in the organization. Just about everybody that’s gone through our system has played for him at some time. Guys like playing for him. I think he was the best guy for the job in the situation we were in…Everyone gets along well with him. He brings good energy to the park every single day. Everyone was looking forward to playing for him.”
This Mets team possesses a great deal of potential heading into the eventual 2020 campaign. Along with a star first baseman in Pete Alonso, they additionally employ a back-to-back National League Cy Young Award winner in Jacob deGrom.
The pitching rotation did recently undergo a major setback though. Right-hander Noah Syndergaard suffered a torn UCL and underwent Tommy John surgery last month, a procedure that’ll keep him off the mound until next season.
It’s certainly a significant blow to the team. But luckily, New York acquired two starting pitchers this past offseason in Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello.
“[General manager] Brodie [Van Wagenen] did a good job with [getting] some extra guys with Porcello and Wacha this offseason,” McNeil said. “Even though [Syndergaard] was supposed to help us a lot, be a key part of the rotation, we’ve got some guys that can fill in and can get the job done for us.”
MLB and the players union are reportedly working on a plan to begin the season in Arizona next month without fans. Nonetheless, they’d need to work out plenty of kinks in order for the plan to come to legitimate fruition.