The Mets have found their new pitching coach. According to a Newsday report, Dave Eiland will be the man in charge of keeping New York’s bevy of talented arms in line during the 2018 season. The news comes a month after the 51-year-old Eiland was let go by the Royals during an organizational shake-up.
Eiland made his debut as a pitcher back in 1988 with the Yankees, and 12 years later he returned to the franchise as coach following his retirement as a player with Tampa Bay. Eiland worked his way through the Yankees’ farm system and was finally named pitching coach of the big league club in 2008. During his three-year stint in the Bronx, Eiland developed young hurlers such as Joba Chamberlain, but he mostly worked with veterans like CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Andy Pettitte.
The Yankees’ incredible lineup gets most of the credit for their 2009 world championship, and that’s probably at least part of the reason why Eiland was fired following the 2010 campaign. After spending a year as an adviser with another one of his former teams in Tampa, Eiland joined the Royals as their pitching coach in 2011.
This time around, Eiland worked with some younger hurlers, as Danny Duffy and the late Yordano Ventura became important members of a squad that won back-to-back American League pennants and the 2015 World Series. Perhaps Eiland’s greatest achievement, though, was the bullpen that became Kansas City’s calling card during that amazing two-year run. The trio of Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, and Greg Holland became the most intimidating relief corps in the majors under Eiland’s watch.
The Royals didn’t stay on top for long, however, and a couple of sub-par seasons since the 2015 title have caused the front office to make some changes. Thus, Eiland is now a member of the Mets, and he’s inheriting perhaps the most talented group of starters he has ever worked with.
New Mets manager Mickey Callaway knows Eiland from when they were both pretty terrible pitchers for the 1999 Devil Rays. It’s fair to say that both men have had much more success in their coaching careers than in their days on the rubber.
Eiland joins a revamped Mets coaching staff that already includes third base coach Glen Sherlock, bullpen coach Rickey Bones, and the recently promoted hitting coach Pat Roessler.