ST. LOUIS — After the Mets’ sudden change in hitting coaches this week, the practical, day-to-day difference for the actual hitters probably will be miniscule, new hitting coach Hugh Quattlebaum said.
"I don't think it's going to be, once we dive into it, an extreme deviation," Quattlebaum said Wednesday afternoon, before the first game in his new gig. "Ultimately, it's pairing up some of the analytical information we have on all opposing arms and trying to really simplify it down to something that makes a lot of sense to them."
The Mets named Quattlebaum as Chili Davis’ replacement late Monday night. He is joined by assistant hitting coach Kevin Howard, who has the job that used to belong to Tom Slater.
Quattlebaum described himself as a "happy medium" between an old-school, contact-based approach and a new-school, launch-angle, elevate-and-celebrate mindset.
He learned from fellow Massachusetts native Walt Hriniak, a well-known hitting coach for the Red Sox and other teams in the 1970s through the 1990s, whom Quattlebaum described as "about as old school as it gets." But he came to the Mets from the Mariners, where he was part of a modernized player-development system heavy on analytics, an area in which the Mets have invested considerably in six months under owner Steve Cohen.
"If the results are good, it doesn't really matter how a guy’s getting there, what he’s thinking, what his thoughts or approach are," he said. "It’s a blend. It’s finding the right match for the right guy. It all comes down to: What does a guy need to think to get productive results on a field?"
The Mets have had 77% of their tier 1 personnel vaccinated against COVID-19, team president Sandy Alderson said during a news conference with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
If the Mets reach 85%, they can operate under relaxed pandemic protocols.
"At this point, it’s a case-by-case, individual-by-individual campaign on our part," Alderson said. "We continue to provide education. And as time passes, we get one or two more every few days. But we’re not at that [85%] level yet. We see the kind of resistance within the framework of the team that we see publicly, and all of the same reasons are being made to us by them as we see in the public domain."
The Mets added righthander Sean Reid-Foley as the 27th man for their doubleheader against the Cardinals. He did not pitch . . . Catcher Patrick Mazeika made his major-league debut with a pinch-hit groundout in the second inning of the second game. The Mets promoted him to the majors three times last year but he did not appear in a game.
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.