The Mets announced on Tuesday morning that pitching coach Dan Warthen and head trainer Ray Ramirez will not be returning to the organization next year in their current roles.
While Warthen will be offered another role in the organization, it sounds like Ramirez is gone for good. Although the Warthen move was hinted at as the regular season came to a close, it’s still surprising to see a coach who was recently thought of as among the best in the game lose his job. Warthen and the slider that he taught New York’s starting pitchers were given a lot of credit for the rise of the rotation to elite status in 2015. However, with nearly every starter in the rotation suffering an injury this year, Warthen’s stock has taken a dip, and it looks like the front office wants to try someone different.
Ramirez’s departure is just as much of a shock, but for a different reason. Fans have been clamoring for the trainer dismissal ever since a rash of injuries turned the 2009 team into a pile of mush. Maladies big and small have continued to haunt the Mets since then, and Ramirez, along with strength and conditioning advisor Mike Barwis, have bore much of the blame. While Ramirez leaving will delight many Mets fans who thought they would never be rid of him, there’s still no proof that he had anything to do with the team’s health issues.
Two staff members that will return in 2018 are hitting coach Kevin Long and assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler. That makes sense considering the positive developments we saw from Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce this year. Meanwhile, bench coach Dick Scott, bullpen coach Ricky Bones, and first base coach Tom Goodwin have been given permission to speak to other teams, but they could return to the Mets depending on who the new manager is.
Third base coach Glen Sherlock will also return next year because he’s already under contract for 2018.