CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Brodie Van Wagenen made his first public moves as New York Mets general manager, firing hitting coach Pat Roessler along with bullpen coach Ricky Bones on Monday and announcing manager Mickey Callaway will have a new bench coach.
After meeting for two days with Callaway last week, Van Wagenen said bench coach Gary DiSarcina will replace third-base coach Glenn Sherlock, who will shift to first-base coach.
New York went 77-85 in Callaway’s first season as a manager, and Callaway drew attention for game management.
In a 2-1, 10-inning loss at Cincinnati on May 9, Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores batted out of order because the hand-written lineup card given to umpires was different than a computer-printed version posted in the Mets dugout. And on July 9, Callaway brought in left-hander Jerry Blevins against Philadelphia before lefty-hitting Odubel Herrera was announced as a pinch hitter, allowing Phillies manager Gabe Kapler to bat righty-hitting Jesmuel Valentin without wasting a player. Callaway insisted that was the matchup he wanted.
Van Wagenen said the impetus for change started with Callaway’s self-evaluation.
“Having someone that is an experienced coach that can help him with in-game management we thought would be a win for Mickey and help him with his development,” Van Wagenen said. “You’ve got to identify who complements yourself.”
Former Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., who had been first-base coach, will become a front office adviser to the 44-year-old Van Wagenen, who quit as co-head of CAA Baseball’s agency group and was hired Oct. 30 to replace Sandy Alderson as GM. Van Wagenen knows Amaro since his own days as a player at Stanford.
“I think in my transition, he can be a valuable asset for me in the front office,” Van Wagenen said.
Roessler was promoted to hitting coach from assistant when Kevin Long left for Washington after the 2017 season. Bones had been bullpen coach since the 2012 season.
Alderson’s top three assistants have been asked to stay on and are attending this week’s GM meetings: assistant general manager John Ricco and special assistants JP Ricciardi and Omar Minaya. Van Wagenen did not specify if all three had decided to stay with the Mets long-term.
“We’ve talked to those guys about various different roles and areas of focus and, hopefully, we can get more definition as it goes forward,” he said. “But they’re certainly important to me and that’s why they’re out here this week.”
Van Wagenen attended the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game last weekend, met with player development staff and scouts, and also had dinner with Mets prospect Peter Alonso, who homered in the game on a 103 mph pitch from Toronto’s Nate Pearson. The first baseman, who turns 24 next month, hit .314 with 15 homers and 52 RBIs in 65 games this year with Double-A Binghamton, then batted .260 with 21 homers and 67 RBIs in 67 games at Triple-A Las Vegas following a mid-June promotion.
“He is a really hard worker and he has a burning desire to succeed, and he communicated that very clearly to me, and I told him that we’re going to give him every opportunity to try to capitalize on that both in the short term and the long-term,” Van Wagenen said. “He will be going to big league camp, and we’ll try to get him as many at-bats as we can and see if we can make a decision in terms of how ready he is.”
Van Wagenen also met with 20-year-old shortstop prospect Andres Gimenez.
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