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  • 2020 Coaches - Rojas' Coaching Staff Is Now Complete

    MLB Scouts and Execs Weigh in on Who Could Be
    Mets Manager Carlos Beltran's Bench Coach

    Terry Collins comes to mind, but other experienced candidates are there

    5 Nov 2019, 11:16 AM ET
    Click image for larger version  Name:	cut.jpg Views:	21 Size:	83.6 KB ID:	9437
    The Mets have a new manager at least partly because Mickey Callaway repeatedly made strategic mistakes during games over two seasons, but also because there hasn't been a bench coach savvy enough to avoid at least some of the train wrecks.

    Which brings us to the Mets' next piece of business: find the right guy to ride shotgun for Carlos Beltran and make his transition to managing as smooth as possible.
    In short, find the right bench coach.

    Is that Terry Collins?

    Beltran has expressed an interest in having his former manager in that role, and a source says Collins would take the job if offered. But there is no indication so far that either GM Brodie Van Wagenen or Mets' ownership is ready to usher the former manager back into the spotlight.

    Remember, although Collins still has a job in the organization as a player development coordinator, his tenure as manager ended with some bad blood on both sides, and that could still play a part in any such decision.

    Anyway, though both Jim Riggleman and Gary DiSarcina have to be considered culpable in Callaway's misadventures, it shouldn't be that hard to find a competent bench coach.
    Asking around among scouts and executives on Monday, I heard several names that seemingly could be good fits: John Gibbons, Pete Mackanin, Rich Donnelly, Fredi Gonzalez, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Ron Washington.

    Four of them are working for other organizations, while Gibbons was out of baseball last season after two stints as Blue Jays manager, and Donnelly is a long-time major league coach who managed in the minors for the Mets last season.

    More on them shortly, but I spoke to Donnelly about the importance of the job of bench coach, a job he had working for Jim Leyland, and what makes a good one.

    "I think the biggest thing is the manager has a lot going on all the time," he said, "so it's the bench coach's job to be looking a couple of innings ahead, at potential matchups and moves that were part of the pregame preparation.

    "It sounds easy but I'm telling you, the game moves fast when you're making the decisions. It gets hairy in there, especially in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. So when things get tight, when the place is rocking and everything seems to be going 100 mph, you better have the right answer when the time is right to make a suggestion to the manager.

    "That's where you need to build trust in the relationship. The bench coach can't be somebody who really wants to be the manager of the team. I've been on teams where that was an issue. Years ago, I was on a staff where the bench coach had business cards printed up calling himself the assistant manager. Eventually the manager found out about it and fired the guy.

    "But I've also been on teams where the bench coach is completely loyal and he plays a huge role in advising the manager on strategy, in helping him maintain relationships with certain players, even smoothing things over with the media. A good bench coach can handle any situation."

    With that in mind, here's a look at those aforementioned potential candidates:

    Perhaps most significantly, he built a close relationship with Beltran when he took over as Mets' manager in 2011 and isn't looking for another managing job. In addition to helping with in-game managing, Collins always had a strong relationship with the media, even in tough times, which could benefit Beltran in dealing with his twice-a-day press conferences.

    Came up as a catcher in the Mets' organization and managed in the minors for them between two stints as Blue Jays' manager. Something of a media darling with his laid-back, likable personality, but wasn't afraid of confrontations with players in Toronto. Scouts say he has a good feel for strategy.

    A highly-regarded coach who has had limited stints as manager of the Reds and Phillies but, to the surprise of many, was never given a real shot to manage a contender. Among those who admired his work was Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who years ago told me Mackanin was someone he considered good manager material. Currently a scouting adviser for the Phillies.

    Former manager of the Rangers, but Washington is perhaps best known for his years building relationships as a coach through individual work with players, especially on their defense. Currently the Braves' third-base coach.

    Long considered a manager-in-waiting, the former catcher has interviewed for a handful of jobs over the last several years, always coming up short. Has coached for several organizations, including the Mets as catching instructor in 2008-09, and is considered a sharp baseball mind who eventually will manage. Currently the first base coach for the Indians.

    A baseball lifer who says he has managed some 1,600 games in the minors, and coached another 3,000 in the Majors sitting beside Leyland, either as third-base coach or bench coach. Says he learned from the best, in Leyland, in how to manage players as well as game situations.

    In addition to managing the Mets' rookie-league affiliate in Kingston last season, Donnelly coordinated both the big-league spring training camp and extended spring training as well.

    Drew's Sig

  • #2
    Reading the report by John Harper there would seem to be a wealth of riches among the possible candidates. We know TC and the difficult position he was in as the out of the loop voice and persona of the Mets managment. TC wasn't a yes man and when needed could swing the hammer. Personally, I believe that over his final months he lost the fire and drive of the previous 5+ seasons. He was at his best in 2015 when HE led the team to the WS while Alderson picked up the Exec. of the Year hardwear. That season the Mets caught fire a month before Alderson picked up a phone. To TC's credit the team always played hard for him in the bad as well as the good times.


    • #3
      Get to Know Mets Bench Coach Candidate Jerry Narron

      Narron has managed two MLB teams during his career

      by Alex Smith
      6 Nov 2019, :10 PM ET

      Though there's been plenty of buzz of late about Terry Collins potentially becoming Carlos Beltran's bench coach, another name is now reportedly in the mix.

      Click image for larger version

Name:	cut.jpg
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ID:	9445According to a report from Newsday's Tim Healey, Jerry Narron, who most recently served at the Diamondbacks bench coach, is a candidate for the job.

      Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reached out to Narron, who said he has "not heard anything yet," but he does "definitely want to stay in the game."

      Like Collins, Narron has prior experience as a manager at the big-league level, which would undoubtedly be helpful for a first-time skipper like Beltran.

      Narron managed the Rangers in 2001-02 and then spent three seasons as the Reds manager from 2005-07. In both cases, though, Narron started on an interim basis as the teams' manager. He has a combined managerial record of 291-341 in the majors, though he also has minor league managerial experience as well.

      The 63-year old took over as the interim bench coach for the D-backs early on in 2017, after Ron Gardenhire left the club to recover from prostate cancer. The Goldsboro, N.C. native has been in that role for the last three seasons, but recently stepped down from the post.

      Overall, he's been a coach for the D-backs, Brewers, Reds, Red Sox, Rangers, and Orioles.

      Before his coaching days, Narron played eight seasons in the bigs with the Yankees, Mariners, and Angels. He hit .211 over his career, primarily playing as a backup catcher.

      Drew's Sig


      • #4
        My prediction: Sandy Alomar, Jr.

        His father had coaching experience in the organization and the Wilpons seem to follow patterns like that. He's also a decent candidate in his own right and I could see Beltran liking a fellow Puerto Rican on his staff.


        • #5
          Latest on Mets’ Bench Coach Position

          By Connor Byrne
          12 Nov 2019, 7:30 PM CDT
          The Mets have their new manager in former major league slugger Carlos Beltran, a first-time skipper who brings zero coaching experience to the table. The fact that Beltran’s a neophyte makes it all the more important for the Mets to find an experienced bench coach capable of helping him learn the ropes. They’ve got at least two names on their radar in Fredi Gonzalez and Jerry Narron, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports.

          The Mets have already spoken with Gonzalez, who’s likely to have a formal interview with the club after the GM meetings, according to Puma. The 55-year-old Gonzalez is a former major league manager who oversaw the Marlins from 2007-10 and the Braves from 2011-16. More recently, Gonzalez was the Marlins’ bench coach over the previous three seasons, but he stepped down from that post a month ago.

          Narron, 63, left the Diamondbacks in late October after they chose to replace him as their bench coach. He served in that role for two-plus years before the D-backs decided to give the job to Luis Urueta, though their hope was that Narron would remain a part of their coaching staff. He’s now a free agent, however, and is well-known for managing the Rangers from 2001-02 and the Reds from 2005-07.

          Drew's Sig


          • #6
            Mets, Chili Davis Agree on Multi-year Deal

            The Mets are also bringing back assistant hitting coach Tom Slater

            by Danny Abriano
            13 Nov 2019, 8:09 AM ET

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ID:	9497The Mets have agreed with Chili Davis on a multi-year deal to bring him back as the team's hitting coach, sources told SNY's Andy Martino.

            Tom Slater, who has been the team's assistant hitting coach since 2017, is also being brought back on a multi-year deal, per Martino.

            Davis, who was the Mets' hitting coach in 2019, had been a finalist to become Phillies hitting coach, Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

            The 59-year-old Davis became the Mets' hitting coach last December -- replacing Pat Roessler -- after serving as the Cubs' hitting coach in 2018. He worked in the same capacity for the Red Sox from 2015-2017 and the Athletics from 2012-2014.

            Drew's Sig


            • #7
              Ron Wotus Emerges as Bench Coach Candidate

              Jerry Narron and Fredi Gonzalez are also candidates

              by Danny Abriano
              13 Nov 2019, 9:16 AM ET

              As the Mets' bench coach search rolls on, another name has emerged. Ron Wotus, whose status with the Giants is unclear after the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager, has interviewed with the Mets, according to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic.

              Wotus joins Jerry Narron and Fredi Gonzalez as known candidates for the Mets' bench coach job.

              Terry Collins was the preference of new manager Carlos Beltran to be his bench coach, but the Mets will be going in a different direction -- with Collins staying on as a special adviser to GM Brodie Van Wagenen.

              Wotus, a 58-year-old native of Connecticut, was the Giants' bench coach from 1998 to 2017 and has worked as their third base coach for the last two seasons. During his time with the Giants, he has also interviewed for open manager jobs with the Pirates, Dodgers, Mariners, Rays, and Nationals.

              The Mets' bench coach job will be extra important this season, as whoever gets the gig will be the right-hand man Beltran as he learns the ins and outs of managing.

              Aside from bench coach, the Mets are conducting a search for pitching coach that has included University of Michigan coach Chris Fetter and former Mets pitcher/current Twins coach Jeremy Hefner.

              Van Wagenen said on Tuesday that no announcements will be made regarding coaching staff positions until the entire staff is filled.

              Drew's Sig


              • #8
                Third Base Coach Gary DiSarcina to Return

                DiSarcina back 'in some capacity' report says

                by Nick Wojton
                18 Nov 2019, 10:16 PM ET

                Despite making a change to their bench boss as the Mets brought Carlos Beltran on this offseason, one might stick around.

                According MLB Network, Gary DiSarcina, 52, will be back with the Mets "in some capacity" in 2020.

                DiSarcina handled third base coaching duties for the Mets and has been with the organization since 2018.

                DiSarcina manned the Angels' infield as a player from 1989 to 2000. As a coach, he re-joined the majors with the Angels from 2014-2016 and jumped to the Red Sox in 2017 before landing in Flushing.

                The Mets already moved on from bench coach Jim Riggleman this offseason. Terry Collins was the early favorite for that position on Beltran's staff but Joey Cora reportedly emerged as a "strong candidate" for that role earlier this week.

                Steve Karsay also interviewed for the Mets' vacant pitching coach job position this week, according to a report. Phil Regan finished last season in that role for the Mets after Dave Eiland was fired in June.

                Drew's Sig


                • #9
                  Mets Will Jump into 21st Century with Next Pitching Coach Hire,
                  Plus Details on Dave Eiland's Firing

                  All three of the known candidates are very much of the new school

                  by Andy Martino
                  21 Nov 2019, 1:50 PM ET

                  When the Yankees fired longtime pitching coach Larry Rothschild last month, they did not do it because Rothschild lacked knowledge of his craft, or work ethic, or a connection to his pitchers. In fact, the front office largely believed that Rothschild was performing well at his job.

                  Unfortunately for Rothschild, the job itself had changed.

                  The Yankees wanted to push to the edge of contemporary trends, and hired 34-year-old Matt Blake out of the Cleveland organization. Last season, the Mets fired pitching coach Dave Eiland for similar reasons, and are soon to make their own leap into the future.

                  All three of the known candidates to replace interim coach Phil Regan -- Twins bullpen coach Jeremy Hefner, University of Michigan pitching coach Chris Fetter, and Brewers bullpen coach Steve Karsay -- are very much of the new school.

                  Hefner, in particular, has become a hot name in the industry for his work this year with a Twins bullpen that became one of the strongest in the league. For example, he helped reliever Tyler Duffey understand that by throwing his best pitch -- the curveball -- as much as possible, he would have more success than if he mixed his pitches in a traditional way.

                  This is just one small example of how the concept of "new school" in pitching extends to lengths that would been hard to imagine just a few years ago.

                  For decades, pitching coaches were empowered to run side sessions on their own, tell pitchers how to tweak grips, and determine bullpen moves and pitch selection. The modern pitcher -- and the modern GM -- now require more collaboration, and knowledge of technology.

                  Increasingly, pitchers are working with private companies like Driveline and Cressey Sports Performance, and expecting their teams to speak that language and use comparable tech. Organizations, including the Yankees, are scooping up staffers from both companies (Blake himself once worked with Cressey).

                  Now, pitching coaches must bring with them a deep familiarity with technology like Rapsodo, the high-speed cameras that give real-time data on depth, spin rates, and spin axis. During bullpen sessions, these machines give pitching coaches and their charges advanced information that helps them tweak pitches.

                  Rapsodo and the comparable YakkerTech help pitching coaches determine what pitches to throw in what counts, and what pitches are strongest for an individuals (like Duffey's curveball). Other machines provide biomechanical data that helps pitchers to stay healthy and repeat their deliveries.

                  The Yankees exposed Rothschild to these tools - and the results were mixed at best. The team had to go around its pitching coach to help James Paxton throw more curveballs last year, and save his season, according to sources.

                  With the Mets, Eiland could be openly hostile to analytics and tech, which is part of the reason the team fired him in the middle of the year.

                  In addition to purchasing new technology, GMs are looking at new places for candidates. The Twins last year hired Arkansas pitching coach Wes Johnson, and the Mets are considering Fetter. Fetter was a serious candidate with the Yankees, but Blake won the interview process.

                  Colleges have become laboratories of experimentation, and professional clubs want to import that knowledge.

                  "In college, there is so much freedom," says one major league coach. "A college coach can try new things with little or no pushback from up or down the chain, mostly because there is no chain of command. Autonomy can be a great thing for growth."

                  We're a long way from Ron Guidry, Eiland or Regan. Those former New York coaches are baseball lifers with a library full of pitching knowledge in their brains, but are not as conversant in the elements that matter most to teams now.

                  As to whether big league pitchers will listen to college or minor league coaches lacking the gravitas of a Guidry or Regan, one current coach made a salient point: "Big leaguers want to make money, very simply. If you aid them in making money, they'll listen to anything you say."

                  Drew's Sig


                  • #10
                    Is the calling the "Pitching Coach a 21st Century Modern One" just a euphemism for Front Office Puppet?


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by West Coast Mets Fan View Post
                      Is the calling the "Pitching Coach a 21st Century Modern One" just a euphemism for Front Office Puppet?
                      Baseball is just going the way going the way of any other business, becoming completely data driven. They are no more (or less) a "front office puppet" than any other business responding to the whims of "corporate". Which means yes, clubs are all puppets to the FO now.

                      The thing about being data driven - you can have all the numbers in the world. But do you have the ability to glean something relevant out of the data, and if so, do you have a clue as to how to apply it?


                      • #12
                        Yeah, I saw the downhill of quality work at my old job when numbers became more important than experience. Shortcuts and crappy work became the norm because new customer didn't know they were being had because their line worked. I expect somewhere down the line a pitcher's win-lost record will no longer be maintained. It will be replaced by so call 'Quality Starts'. Where starters just need to go 6-innings.
                        Drew's Sig


                        • West Coast Mets Fan
                          West Coast Mets Fan commented
                          Editing a comment
                          That depends on whether or not the bullpen start catches on, if that happens it will make the quality start a more meanless stat than it already is.

                      • #13
                        Mets Interviewed Gil Patterson for Pitching Coach

                        Patterson most recently was the head of the Athletics minor league pitching program

                        22 Nov 2019, 5:04 PM ET

                        The Mets have interviewed Gil Patterson for their pitching coach job, reports ESPN's Buster Olney.

                        Patterson, who pitched one season of Major League Baseball with the Yankees in 1977, has been a longtime coach, spending time with the Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Yankees and Athletics in their minor league systems.

                        Patterson has most recently been the head of the Athletics minor league pitching program -- a big part of their entire farm system -- since 2016. This was actually Patterson's third stint in Oakland, having served as the minor league pitching coordinator from 2008-2012, and was a pitching coach for two of their minor league teams in the early 1990s.

                        Patterson joined the Diamondbacks system as a minor league pitching coordinator from 1997-2000, before becoming the bullpen coach for the Blue Jays in 2001. He would later be their pitching coach from 2002-2004.

                        He joined the Yankees in 2005 as a pitching coach for their Triple-A club, the Columbus Clippers, before doing the same job for the GCL Yankees in 2006 and 2007. He rejoined the team after leaving them for the Athletics to become the minor league pitching coordinator from 2013 to 2015.

                        The Yankees were the first team to give him a shot at coaching, having him join the team for half a season as a pitching coach in 1984.

                        Looking past all the bouncing around, Patterson clearly has a lot of experience when it comes to pitching.

                        The Mets are also known to be looking at Twins bullpen coach Jeremy Hefner, University of Michigan pitching coach Chris Fetter, and Brewers bullpen coach Steve Karsay for their pitching coach position.

                        Drew's Sig


                        • #14
                          Hensley Meulens “Strong Frontrunner” To Be Mets’ Bench Coach

                          By TC Zencka
                          23 Nov 2019, 3:44 PM CDT

                          Hensley Meulens is a “strong frontrunner” to become the next bench coach for the New York Mets, though the team is not confirming any new hire decisions at this time, tweets Andy Martino of the SNY Network. Jennifer Mercedes of La Vida Baseball (via Twitter) is hearing that the Mets and their newly-hired manager Carlos Beltran are ready to tab Meulens in the role now. This level of scuttlebutt often leads to an announcement from the team, though Martino suggests nothing official is imminent. Meulens has made the rounds the past couple of seasons as a new manager candidate, and he would come to New York highly-regarded after a defining career on the coaching staff of the San Francisco Giants. He spent the past two seasons in the same role he’ll potentially man in New York, serving as bench coach to Bruce Bochy. He was Bochy’s hitting coach from 2010 to 2017, during which time the Giants won three championships. Beltran, of course, crossed paths with Meulens during his short stint in a Giants uniform in the 2011 season.

                          The Marlins reportedly offered Meulens a role on Don Mattingly’s staff, with whom Meulens was a teammate for parts of five seasons from 1989 to 1993 as a player with the New York Yankees. Meulens was also in conversation with the Giants about their open managerial position before being informed recently that he was no longer in the running.

                          Joey Cora, Fredi Gonzalez, Jerry Narron, and Terry Collins have also been named at various times as potential candidates to assume the role of Beltran’s right-hand man. Meulens has less managerial experience than some of the other candidates listed, though he did manage the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017. Along with his many years under the leadership of Bochy, Meulens would presumably provide plenty of insight and guidance for the Mets’ rookie skipper.

                          Drew's Sig


                          • #15
                            only the mets can drag out their search for a coaching's their deflection so that they have an excuse for why they didn't fix center field, the bullpen, the end of the rotation, or overall team defense/speed.


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