Mets will retain all coaches next season
MIAMI -- Several of the Mets' top decision makers descended upon Marlins Park Monday to observe the final strains of another trying season. Chief executive Jeff Wilpon chatted with third baseman David Wright on the field. General manager Sandy Alderson watched batting practice, flanked by one of his lieutenants, assistant general manager John Ricco.
But none of them brought their axes.
With the club's fourth consecutive losing season already clinched, the Mets will retain the entire coaching staff for 2013. Manager Terry Collins made the announcement before Monday night's series-opening 3-2 loss to the last-place Marlins.
"I wanted them all back," Collins said. He hashed out the coaching situation this week in conversations with Alderson.
Aside from R.A. Dickey's pursuit of the Cy Young Award, which concludes in his start Tuesday night against the Marlins, the Mets have enjoyed few highlights down the stretch. The team's woeful second half has long dampened the good vibes that came with overachievement in the first half. No matter how this final series plays out, they will finish fourth in the NL East.
But even as the season soured, Collins said he never sensed that his coaches let up, regardless of the increasingly lackluster results. "That's never been an issue," said Collins, who praised their work ethic through what has been a volatile season.
The announcement negates the possibility of a staff shake-up, which the Mets endured following the 2011 campaign. First-year coaches to return next year include bench coach Bob Geren, third-base coach Tim Teufel, first-base coach Tom Goodwin and bullpen coach Ricky Bones. Hitting coach Dave Hudgens is wrapping up his second season.
Dan Warthen, pitching coach since 2008, will remain the longest-tenured member of the staff. In the Mets' long-term plans, one that centers on homegrown pitching, he may prove to be the most critical. For all of the Mets' deficiencies, they have amassed a group of young arms that are pushing to make an impact in the major leagues.
Warthen will be tasked with overseeing the development of that crop, which includes Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jeurys Familia, who walked six and gave up one hit in four scoreless innings Monday night in his first major-league start.
"We have a very bright future," Warthen said. "I'm glad to be a part of that."
Injuries thinned out the starting rotation and ineffectiveness plagued the bullpen. However, the veteran Dickey was quick to praise Warthen's work with the team's pitchers.
"I've been an open advocate of his since I've been here," said Dickey (20-6).
Notes & quotes: Adam Greenberg will hit for the Marlins Tuesday night, more than seven years after his major-league career was interrupted after his first at-bat, which resulted in a fastball off his batting helmet.