Mets Most Valuable Coach (MVC): Dan Warthen

I’ve written before about the stunning turnaround the Mets pitching staff has taken since the firing of Rick Peterson and promotion of Dan Warthen. Oliver Perez looks like a completely different player. Mike Pelfrey, who started to figure it out under Peterson, has been astounding. But Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez, and Pedro Martinez haven’t been so successful under Warthen.

image But I like Warthen’s approach, maximize each pitcher’s strengths. There’s no one approach that applies to every pitcher like Peterson seemed to have.

David Lennon of Newsday wrote a good column yesterday and had some interesting quotes:

“My first two years here, I didn’t feel like I could talk to him,” said Mike Pelfrey, who is 7-1 with a 2.83 ERA since Peterson was fired. “It always seemed like he wanted everything done his way … He always got you to believe that what he wanted was right, I just felt like sometimes he wanted to clone people and try to make people the same way. I think we’re all different, and we need different things to get problems solved.”

“All these guys have to have a voice and I don’t think they did have a voice – there was only one voice,” Warthen said. “They do a lot more speaking than I do. That’s the first thing I told them. I don’t want a bunch of clones. I want five different-looking starters, I want you guys to be who you are, and we’ll adjust to that. I’ll adjust to you, you don’t adjust to me.”

“I had a great relationship with Rick before, but you can see this is different,” Santana said. “The guys are much looser. They feel more comfortable. With Rick, there was always a lot of numbers and other stuff. This is more about being yourself.”

It’s pretty clear that the pitchers have responded well to Warthen. He’s not a “guru” in the sense that Peterson was, with his own philosophy that everyone had to abide by. In many ways he appears to have the opposite approach of Peterson, and it’s working in most cases.

Flickr photo courtesy of tedkerwin

Author: Dave Doyle

Although I don’t have a degree in journalism, I love writing about the New York Mets. I’m the typical writer without access. My only accessibility to the Mets is sitting in the stands (often the upper tank) and watching on TV like most fans. I’m not a member of the media, just a fan expressing opinions.