Mets fire hitting coach Chili Davis: Instant analysis

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Andy Martino
·2 min read
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Chili Davis soft toss
Chili Davis soft toss

The trigger seemed quick, but a peek into the new Mets organization makes the late-night firings of hitting coach Chili Davis and his assistant, Tom Slater, less surprising at second glance.

You might think, when you hear a team say they want to be the "East Coast Dodgers," that they're talking about Clayton Kershaw or Mookie Betts. But staff moves like this form a large part of what they actually mean.

Hired by previous GM Brodie Van Wagenen, Davis was never the choice of new team president Sandy Alderson -- who is historically more particular about his hitting coaches than any other position on a field staff other than manager -- or acting GM Zack Scott.

In fact, Alderson strongly considered letting Davis go in the offseason, but finally decided against it. The need to fill so many other new positions at once was likely a factor, as was the year remaining on Davis' contract.

Davis was popular with many Mets hitters, but he was never going to be the future under Alderson and Scott. The Mets are upgrading their coaching and player development staff to be more on-trend with the current wave of technology-based approaches and have done so here.

"I have history with Chili, obviously, with the Red Sox," Scott said. "I like and respect the man a lot. So this is a really difficult decision to make, but the reason we felt like it was the right decision was based more on kind of a vision of vision for what we want our major league hitting program to be.

"I'm not going to dive too deep into those details to reveal what that vision is, necessarily, but there are certain things that the process under the hood that's going on -- that's really what's important. It's not about results. It's not about 23 games of results."

New to the staff will be two recent hires, the 42-year-old Hugh Quattlebaum and the 39-year-old Kevin Howard. The days of hiring old team icons -- or even former big leaguers -- as coaches are long over.

Among many others, you can see this with Dodgers hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc, who was hired without experience; Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake; and even Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, who earned and kept his job because of a facility with analytics he developed largely after his playing career. You also see it with the many products of the pitching laboratory Driveline Baseball that populate front offices, including the Mets.

On Monday night, Alderson and Scott merely took another step toward the organization that they envision.