Rojas promoted from Savannah, becomes 16th manager in St. Lucie history
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (January 23, 2015) – The New York Mets announced on Friday that Luis Rojas is the new manager of their Advanced-A affiliate, the St. Lucie Mets.
Rojas, 33, spent the previous three seasons managing the Savannah Sand Gnats, the Mets Single-A affiliate. Rojas led the Sand Gnats to playoffs appearances the last two seasons and won the South Atlantic League championship in 2013.
“Once I got the news I was really excited to be joining the St. Lucie Mets and the Florida State League,” Rojas said. “It’s a blessing. You always here about how good a league the FSL is for its travel and facilities because of spring training. I know I have some big shoes to fill after the success of the last two managers Pedro Lopez and Ryan Ellis.”
Rojas is the 16th field manager in St. Lucie Mets history. He takes over for Ellis, who will now serve as a minor league hitting coordinator for all the Mets short season clubs. Ellis managed St. Lucie from 2012-14. In that time no Florida State League team won more games than St. Lucie.
Overall this will be the 11th season for Rojas in the Mets organization. Prior to managing Savannah he was the manager of the Gulf Coast League Mets in 2011. In 2010 Rojas was a coach for Savannah. Before that he was a coach in the GCL from 2008-09.
Rojas spent 2007 as a coach with the Mets Dominican Summer League team. In 2006 he managed the Washington Nationals Dominican Summer League team.
As a player, Rojas played in the Baltimore Orioles, Florida Marlins and Montreal Expos/Washington National minor league systems from 1999-2005.
Phil Regan returns to St. Lucie for his seventh season as pitching coach. Regan, 77, served as the Chicago Cubs pitching coach from 1997-98 and was the Cleveland Indians pitching coach in 1999. He managed teams in the Venezuelan Winter League from 1989-2009.
Regan pitched in 551 major league games and made 105 starts over 13 seasons. He played for Detroit, Los Angeles (NL), the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox. He made the NL All Star team in 1966 and went 14-1 with a 1.62 ERA as a reliever in 1996.
Joel Fuentes returns to St. Lucie for his second season as hitting coach. It will be his ninth year with the Mets organization.
Fuentes, 38, was the hitting coach on Rojas’ Savannah staff from 2012-13. He had a previous stint as St. Lucie hitting coach from 2010-11.
As a player, Fuentes signed with the San Francisco Giants in 1997 and played in their organization until 2003, advancing to Double-A.
Matt Hunter returns for his second season as St. Lucie’s athletic trainer. Hunter, 34, was also the St. Lucie trainer from 2009-10. From 2011-13 he was the trainer for the Double-A Binghamton Mets.
This will mark Hunter’s 11th season in the Mets system. In 2004 he graduated from the University of Florida with a Master of Science degree in Athletic Training/Sports Management.
Tristan McLaren joins St. Lucie as the new strength and conditioning coach. It is McLaren’s second season with the Mets. In 2014 he was the strength coach for Kingsport of the short season Appalachian League.
McLaren, 29, received his Masters from Ithaca College in Human Performance and his B.S. in Biology at Hofstra. From 2012-13 he was a graduate assistant strength coach at Ithaca College.
“I like our staff a lot,” Rojas said. “I’ve never worked with Phil but I’ve always heard good things. He’s a legend in Latin America as a Winter League manager and pitching coach. I’ve worked with Joel in the past and he’s done an excellent job as a hitting coach. I’m looking forward to working with Matt and Tristan. I think this staff will have great chemistry and it should be a great season with this group of guys.”