If you take a look at the Mets website coaches page, it’s pretty empty right now except for Terry Collins and bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello. That should change drastically this week. It has been widely reported that Sandy Alderson and Collins will name the rest of the coaching staff.
Expect Dan Warthen to return as pitching coach and Chip Hale to return at third base. Other than that, it’ll be a new group coaching the Mets next season. Here’s what the staff will likely look like:
Bench coach: Ken Oberkfell will be promoted from managing at Triple-A Buffalo
Third base: Hale will return
First base: Mookie Wilson after Moises Alou turned down the job
Pitching coach: Warthen will also return
With the inevitable end of Jerry Manuel’s tenure in blue and orange looming down the homestretch of another dreadful Mets season, the question on every fan’s mind is who will be his successor come 2011. There are the obvious and popular “sexy” choices to take reigns, as well as the low profile names who have had success within the organization. Here’s my take on the possible candidates:
The Mets manager from the end of the 1996 season through 2002, Valentine has proved he is capable of bringing rejuvenation to the franchise, but the question is at how high a price it would cost this time around? Bobby V. is a New York guy with a New York attitude and exercises the underdog persona that the Mets fan base can cling to. On paper, the teams he brought to the playoffs in ’99 and 2000 were very ordinary. However, he got the most out of his rosters and put a scrappy, competitive, and excuse-free product on the field. There has been a lot of speculation about how interested the organization is in bringing Valentine back to Queens. We have reason to believe that Mets people were in his ear when he bowed out of the Marlins managerial candidacy earlier in the season. Continue reading
Here’s the breakdown:
Staying– Howard Johnson (hitting), Sandy Alomar, Jr. (catching), Sandy Alomar, Sr. (bench), Dan Warthen (pitching)
Leaving– Guy Conti (bullpen), Luis Aguayo (third base), Ken Oberkfell (first base)
New– Razor Shines (third base), Randy Niemann (bullpen)
Jerry Manuel knows Shines from their time together in Chicago and he was coaching the Phillies Single-A team last season. Niemann is doing his third tour as the Mets bullpen coach next season replacing Conti. Conti was a father figure for Pedro Martinez and this indicates that Pedro won’t be back with the Mets next season.
All three coaches that are leaving will be re-assigned within the organization including Oberkfell who’ll be managing the Triple-A team in Buffalo.
We don’t know who the first base coach will be yet though.
As expected, the Mets added Tony Armas, Jr. to the active roster for tonight’s game. Armas will make the start that’s needed because of the double header against the Yankees last Friday. He’s having a nice season for Triple-A New Orleans where he worked with current Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen and first base coack Ken Oberkfell.
The surprise was that the Mets designated Andy Phillips for assignment. I think that most of us expected Carlos Muniz to be designated and sent back to New Orleans.
Now the Mets are carrying 13 pitchers. This roster configuration is almost as confounding as carrying three catchers for an extended period of time. Muniz was hit hard by the Cardinals last night so I expected Armas to make the start tonight and stick around to see if he had any success as the long man.