The Mets appear to be shaking up their coaching staff. This afternoon, it was reported that Pat Roessler will not be retained as the Mets’ hitting coach for the 2019 season. Roessler first joined the Mets in 2015, when he became assistant hitting coach after serving as the Yankees’ director of player development for nearly a decade. Well respected in the game, especially among the current crop of young Yankees prospects, Roessler was promoted to hitting coach under Mickey Callaway, succeeding Kevin Long. Along with Long, Roessler is credited with helping Daniel Murphy develop into an elite hitter toward the end of his Mets tenure.
But since he was brought on in 2015 and the Mets made their first World Series appearance in 15 years, things have gone downhill for the Mets offensively. The Mets scored just 676 runs in 2018, 23rd in the majors. While Brandon Nimmo’s season and Michael Conforto’s second half were certainly encouraging, 2018 was a season marked with offensive ineptitude for the Mets—particularly with Jacob deGrom on the hill. Of course Roessler cannot entirely be blamed for this; the Mets were once again plagued with injuries and the absence of Yoenis Cespedes in particular hurt their run production. But with a new GM at the helm, it is not surprising that the team is looking to make some changes. Assistant hitting coach Tom Slater will keep his job, however. Slater was a hitting instructor in the Yankees’ minor league system before being hired by the Mets last season.
It was also reported that bullpen coach Ricky Bones will be reassigned within the organization. He has been with the Mets since the 2012 season. Of course, relief pitching was another area in which the 2018 Mets struggled. The Mets bullpen’s -0.6 fWAR was 28th in the major leagues in 2018 with a 4.96 ERA—also 28th in baseball. As is the case with Roessler, only so much of this can be attributed to poor tutelage on behalf of Bones, as injuries and poor roster construction took their toll on the relief corps as well. However, as is often the case, the coaches will take the fall for the lack of results.
There is no word yet on who will replace Roessler or Bones.
Update: It was also announced that bench coach Gary DiSarcina will become the third base coach and third base coach Glenn Sherlock will shift to first base. First base coach Ruben Amaro Jr. will become a front office advisor. Amaro Jr. previously served as the general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies from 2008 until 2015, so he is no stranger to the front office environment. It is unsurprising that the Mets will be searching for a new bench coach, given the struggles Mickey Callaway had adjusting to the National League. The Mets will be looking for an experienced voice to counsel Callaway, preferably one with National League experience. Jim Riggleman, who recently left the Reds organization, is reportedly in the running for the job.
Meanwhile, it is notable that Dave Eiland has survived this shake up and will remain pitching coach. This also doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the strides he and Callaway made with the starting rotation in 2018.