CHICAGO — Phil Regan has been in professional baseball for 64 years — in the majors and the minors, as a player and a coach and a manager, all over the Americas.
And now, at 82, Regan is back in the bigs, promoted by the Mets to interim pitching coach on Thursday in place of the fired Dave Eiland. Regan spent the past few years working mostly with the Mets’ lower-level minor-league teams as the assistant pitching coordinator.
Regan will work in concert with pitching strategist Jeremy Accardo to make sure the Mets’ pitchers are getting the coaching — and data — they need.
“You never stop learning,” Regan said. “There’s so many things that you can learn with the technology today. You got to keep up with it. Because if you don’t, the other teams are going to do it and you’re going to be left behind.”
Regan relayed a learning experience from last year. When he realized the Mets as an organization were second in the minors in swinging strikes on the four-seam fastball, behind the technologically advanced Astros, he visited short-season Class A Brooklyn when it was playing Houston’s affiliate.
“I went out early to see what they were doing and I saw some things they were working on, to do that thing to get that [ideal ball] rotation,” Regan said. “And we’ve kind of incorporated that in our organization.”
Regan expects a smooth transition to helping the Mets’ major-league pitchers, many of whom he worked with as they came up through the minors.
“They’re already in the major leagues. They got there for a reason,” he said. “They’re a little bit reluctant to change things, I think. I was probably the same way when I was pitching. Once you know them and know their deliveries and have worked with them since the start of their career, it’s a pretty easy adjustment.”
Wilson still sore
Justin Wilson (left elbow inflammation) is scheduled for a bullpen session in a couple of days, manager Mickey Callaway said, after the latest MRI showed no structural damage.
Wilson — who has pitched in one game the past two months because of two stints on the injured list — aborted his rehab assignment Tuesday when he felt discomfort while warming up with Triple-A Syracuse.
Callaway indicated that at a certain point, it’ll become a pain-tolerance issue. “It’s just the same stuff he’s been dealing with, something he can battle through,” he said. “He got reaffirmation from the doctors that he’s going to be OK, so he understands that it’s something that’s going to be there, maybe, at times, and he can push through it.”
Said Wilson: “We’re getting to the point where it’s more manageable . . . If I feel I’m able to go and able to go as much as Mickey or the team needs me, I’ll be out there.”
Luis Avilan is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Saturday with advanced Class A St. Lucie. He has been on the IL since May 4 with what the Mets called elbow soreness . . . Brooks Pounders tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings Friday, bringing his four-game total to 3 1/3 innings, no runs and one hit . . . Seth Lugo’s two shutout frames extended his scoreless streak to 10 1/3 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.23.