There’s nowhere for New York Mets hitting coach Chili Davis to take this offense but up.
The New York Mets offense couldn’t have been much worse than it was in 2018. Anemic, inconsistent, and unsupportive of their star pitcher; the bats often showed up to the ballpark silent.
Hoping for a change, the organization parted ways with hitting coach Pat Roessler in the offseason. They replaced him with former big league slugger Chili Davis.
Davis’ resume includes duties as a hitting coach with the Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, and most recently the Chicago Cubs. His long career as a player could help him better understand the current Mets he’ll work with this year.
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At the bare minimum, Davis is set up for success with the 2019 team. Roessler doesn’t deserve all of the blame for the struggles of 2018. However, as is often the case with hitting coaches, Davis can receive a good share of the love for any vast improvement in his first season in New York.
The Mets have a much different roster this season. Several of the veterans they brought in, such as Robinson Cano and Wilson Ramos, are major upgrades from members of last year’s lineup. Younger players like Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo are also poised to perform better. If Amed Rosario has a breakout year, we’d have to acknowledge the hitting coach change, right?
Hitting coaches are often regarded as one of the least important members of the staff. They don’t really manage too many decisions. They live up to the title and stick primarily with coaching. When teams go through massive slumps and they need a change to be made, it’s often the hitting coaches who get the axe.
Davis should have at least one full year in his current position. Even though Roessler only received one year in the position, the regime change in the front office and hiring of Brodie Van Wagenen excuses his quick dismissal.
There isn’t much of a fall for the Mets to make from last year to this. In just about every scenario, Davis will look good.
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In his first spring with New York, plenty of batters have responded well on the field. We’ll never know for sure how much this has to do with Davis. However, if the new guys flourish and the old ones get better, it’s only appropriate to tip our caps at Chili for a job well done.