Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen was hospitalized before Thursday's game with a rapid heartbeat, but he was discharged and rejoined the team for Friday night's win over the Braves. Manager Terry Collins told reporters he received a text from Warthen in which he said he was eating cake in the hospital.
With bullpen coach Rickey Bones filling in for Warthen on Thursday night, there was a moment of confusion when Collins called for a reliever during the game. Right-hander Erik Goeddel trotted in from the bullpen only to turn around when Collins really wanted lefty Dario Alvarez to enter the game.
When Warthen returned to the team last night, he didn't want to be interviewed so as to not become a story. However, it's clear his presence in the clubhouse is critical to a team looking to wrap up a slot in the postseason for the first time since 2006.
With the Mets since June 2008, Warthen has certainly seen lean years since coming on board. But the amount of respect his past and present players have for him is evident. Clearly, his ability to connect with his pitchers, which seems even more important due to the overall youth of the team's pitchers, has been a stabilizing factor.