After some rookie struggles as the New York Mets manager in 2018, Mickey Callaway enters the upcoming season on a short leash.
Now that Spring Training has begun, all eyes are on New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway. Callaway now has a full season of experience as an MLB manager and his job in 2019 should be easier because of the great moves the Mets have made during this past offseason.
Newly hired general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has brought with him more analytics. The team of analysts will help Callaway in the decision-making process. The addition of the Mets’ new bench coach, Jim Riggleman, will also be quite helpful.
Riggleman has worked with the Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Seattle Mariners. He has a great deal of experience, particularly in the National League. However, rumors have been swirling around the baseball universe that Callaway is on quite the short leash in 2019.
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If the Mets do not begin producing results that meet the expectations of management early on, Callaway will be out of a job sooner rather than later. Not only is he under immense pressure as the manager of a New York team, baseball’s biggest market, but he also has no excuses this time around.
We must not forget that general managers are usually not as lenient and forgiving with managers whom they do not personally hand-pick, and that is the case with Callaway. If he wants to keep his job, he has to exceed all expectations.
Van Wagenen did hire Riggleman, unlike Callaway, and Riggleman is the only person in baseball history to serve as an interim manager of three different teams. We cannot help but think Van Wagenen will not hesitate to replace Callaway with Riggleman immediately if things are not going well.
Consistency is key for Callaway. His team kicked off the 2018 season as the hottest one in baseball before everything began to spiral out of control. That cannot happen in 2019. Callaway has to ensure the Mets stay hot all year in order to secure his position.
Even though injuries to players are out of his control, Callaway has to be on alert in 2019. He has to rest players appropriately and address even the slightest injury concerns, especially since so many players on the Mets’ roster are injury-prone.
Most of the disasters the Mets encountered in 2018 cannot be blamed on Callaway, primarily because they were injury-based, but he definitely made some mistakes and did not always look sharp.
We can go back to the embarrassment that occurred on May 9th, for example, when the Mets batted out of order.
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The Mets have become a threat in the NL East as well as the entire National League. If they can remain healthy throughout the season, they have no reason to miss the playoffs. With one of the best rotations in baseball, a great bullpen, and a much-improved lineup, Callaway must enter the 2019 season driven, focused, and determined to lead his team to glory in October.