Brodie Van Wagenen’s promise to beef up the Mets’ analytics efforts — as they play catch-up with the rest of baseball — extends to the coaching staff.
The Mets announced Sunday that Luis Rojas will be their quality control coach, a position new to the organization in 2019. Rojas had managed in the Mets’ farm system since 2011, including the past two seasons with Double-A Binghamton.
The Mets also made it official that they have hired Chili Davis as hitting coach and Chuck Hernandez as bullpen coach.
“Brodie and I spent a lot of time finding the right mix of coaches,” manager Mickey Callaway said in a statement. “We’re especially glad to add an additional coach to the staff keeping pace with the industry standard.”
Rojas, 37, “will be in uniform and will serve as a conduit between the front office and coaching staff on all issues including game preparation, strategy and analytics,” the Mets said.
Elsewhere in the analytics realm this offseason, Van Wagenen’s first as general manager, the Mets added Adam Guttridge as assistant GM.
Davis replaces Pat Roessler, who was fired last month during a field-staff shakeup, one of Van Wagenen’s first decisions. Davis will work in tandem with Tom Slater, whom the Mets retained as assistant hitting coach.
Davis-Mets is a union of a hitting coach who hasn’t held down a job (three in three years, four in six years) and a team that hasn’t kept a hitting coach (three in three years, five in six years) at a time of turnover at the position across baseball, with about half of the 30 teams making a change this offseason.
The Mets have had Roessler (2018), Kevin Long (2015-17), Lamar Johnson (2014) and Dave Hudgens (2014) in recent seasons. Davis previously worked for the Cubs (2018), Red Sox (2015-17) and Athletics (2012-14). The Red Sox let him go when they changed managers after the 2017 season, and Chicago fired him in October after a disappointing second half for the Cubs’ offense.
With his new team, Davis will be tasked with helping to fix an offense that was middling at best in 2018. The Mets averaged 4.17 runs per game, 12th out of 15 teams in the National League. The average was 4.37.
Curiously, the Mets were potent on the road (4.96 runs per game, .252/.331/.421 slash line) but struggled at Citi Field (3.38, .215/.292/.354). That’s an extreme version of a trend that has plagued them for years.
Davis, 58, had a .274/.360/.451 slash line in nearly two decades as a major-leaguer. He spent his final two seasons (1998-99) with the Yankees, snagging two of his three World Series rings. (The other: 1991 with the Twins.)
Hernandez, 58, was the Braves’ pitching coach the past two seasons.
The Mets moved Ricky Bones, previously their bullpen coach, to a player-development role. Other changes included hiring Jim Riggleman as bench coach, moving Gary DiSarcina to third-base coach, switching Glenn Sherlock to first-base coach and transitioning Ruben Amaro Jr. into a front-office adviser role.