The New York Mets offense has been one of the worst in MLB this season. Hitting coach Pat Roessler deserves some of the blame, but how much?
First-year hitting coach Pat Roessler isn’t a name too many baseball fans are familiar with. As an inexperienced coach without the playing resume as others, he has somehow limped through the year as the New York Mets hitting coach without much blame. The Wilpons, Mickey Callaway, and Sandy Alderson have received most of it.
Well, it’s time Roessler sits in the hot seat.
It’s not Roessler’s fault the Mets offense stinks. Ultimately, the responsibility falls on the players. Hitting coaches are often scapegoats when a team plays as poorly as this 2018 squad has. What bothers me about this year is how many players seem to have gone backward.
Michael Conforto is the best example. He was an All-Star last season and now he’s a guy who looks better suited in a platoon. We can blame the injury which kept him out for the first month of the season all we want. It’s already August and the kid has yet to turn things around.
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Inconsistent at-bats from Brandon Nimmo and Amed Rosario are also difficult to watch. I don’t expect Roesseler to wave a magic wand and turn either into a superstar. It would be nice, though, if even one player on this team could turn a corner. What did the Mets do to deserve an entire lineup full of ineptitude?
While Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland have received some praise for their handling of the starting pitchers, Roessler has yet to receive a gold star for the way any of the position players have hit. How could he? Nobody is doing well.
Veterans will approach an at-bat the way they always have. I can’t put Jay Bruce‘s weak season on Roessler’s shoulders.
It’s the kids I’m worried about. Conforto and Nimmo have a good approach at the plate if you like walks. I do, but there comes a point when a hitter needs to be more aggressive. They need to make contact and go for base hits instead of the free passes.
Roessler’s latest experiment is Jeff McNeil. The 26-year-old is finally in the big leagues following a hot minor league campaign. If he does well, sure, I’ll give Roessler a pat on the back. Again, it’s not all up to him nor should it be. McNeil is a good hitter and deserves the bulk of the accolades.
How much does a hitting coach really offer a team? When an offense is historic, does he get the credit? When they are infamously bad, does he get the blame?
I like to look at individual performances. If guys in their mid-20s are heading in the wrong direction, something is wrong.
Roessler shouldn’t lose his job because of this. Everything that could go wrong has for the Mets this season.
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At some point, one of the kids needs to take a leap to the next level. Until then, I’m not really sure what Roessler offers.